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Full text of "Lectures on systematic theology, embracing ability (natural, moral and gracious) repentance, impenitance, faith and unbelief"

.• 



LECTURES 



ON 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, 



EMBRACING 



ABILITY, (natural, moral and gracious,) REPENTANCE, 
IMPENITENCE, FAITH AND UNBELIEF, JUSTIFICATION, SANCTIFICAT10N, 
ELECTION, REPROBATION, DIVINE PURPOSES, DIVINE SOVE- 
REIGNTY, AND PERSEVERANCE. ' 



BY 

REV, CHAS, G, FINNEY, 

PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY IN OBERLIN COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE. 



OBERLIN ; JAMES M. FITCH. 

NEW YORK; CLARK & AUSTIN, [Successors to Saxton db Miles.] 

BOSTON ; CROCKER & BREWSTER. 

1847. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1847, 

By Charles G. Finney, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Ohio. 



OBERLIN PRESS. 

J. M. FITCH, PRINTER 



mi 

Joniz. 



PREFACE. 



I have not yet been able to stereotype my theological views, 
and have ceased to expect ever to do so. The idea is preposterous. 
None but an omniscient mind can continue to maintain a precise 
identity of views and opinions. Finite minds, unless they are 
asleep or stultified by prejudice, must advance in knowledge. The 
discovery of new truth will modify old views and opinions, and 
there is perhaps no end to this process with finite minds in any 
world. True christian consistency consists, not in stereotyping 
our opinions and views and in refusing to make any improve- 
ment in knowledge lest we should be guilty of change,- but it con- 
sists in holding our minds open to receive the rays of truth from 
every quarter, and in changing our views and language and prac- 
tice as often and as fast as we can obtain further information. I 
call this christian consistency because this course alone accords with 
a christian profession. A christian profession implies the profess- 
ion of candor and of a disposition to know and to obey all truth. 
It must follow that christian consistency implies continued investi- 
gation and change of views and practice corresponding with increas- 
ing knowledge. No christian therefore, and no theologian should 
be afraid to change his views, his language, or his practices in con- 
formity with increasing light. The adoption of an opposite max- 
im would keep the world, at best, at a perpetual stand-still, on all 
subjects of science, and all improvements would be precluded. 

Hundreds of years since, when intellectual and moral science 
was a wilderness, an assembly of divines, as they are called, affect- 
ing to cast off popery, undertook to stereotype the theology of 
the church and to think for all future generations, thus making 
themselves popes in perpetuum. Every uninspired attempt to 
frame for the church an authoritative standard of opinion which shall 
be regarded as an unquestionable exposition of the word of God, 
is not only impious in itself, but it is also a tacit assumption of 
the fundamental dogma of Papacy. The assembly of divines did 
more than to assume the necessity of a pope to give law to the 
opinions of men; they assumed to create an immortal one or rather 
to embalm their own creed and preserve it as the pope of all gen- 



IV PREFACE. 

erations. That the instrument framed by that assembly should in 
the nineteenth century be recognized as the standard of the church, 
or of an intelligent branch of it, is not only amazing but I must 
say that it is highly ridiculous. It is as absurd in theology as it 
would be in any other branch of science, and as injurious and stul- 
tifying as it is absurd and ridiculous. It is better to have a liv- 
ing than a dead Pope. If we must have an authoritative ex- 
pounder of the word of God let us have a living one so as not to 
preclude the hope of improvement. " A living dog is better than 
a dead lion;" so a living pope is better than a dead and stereotyped 
confession of faith that holds all men to subscribe to its unalterable 
dogmas and its unvarying termonology. Whether this was ever in- 
tended by its authors or not, such is the use made of the instrument 
in question. In the volume published last year I informed my rea- 
ders that should I ever publish my course of instruction, as teacher 
of Systematic Theology, entire, one volume at least would precede 
that. The present volume will be the third of the series. The 
reasons for publishing in this order are: 

1. The necessities of my classes. They need class books, es- 
pecially on those topics in theology which are contained in the vol- 
ume now given to the world. The same is true indeed of points 
upon which I have not yet published ; but upon these they more 
especially needed something more to read than has hitherto ap- 
peared. Let it be understood, however, that these volumes are not 
intended to preclude original investigation but on the contrary to 
encourage and forward it. They are designed not to forestall and 
preclude, but to mark out the general outline of the course of dis- 
cussion pursued in our classes, I hold myself sacredly bound, not 
to defend these positions at all events, but on the contrary to subject 
every one of them to the most thorough discussion and to hold and 
treat them as I would the opinions of any one else ; that is, if upon 
further discussion and investigation I see no cause to change, I 
hold them fast : but if I can see a flaw in any one of them, I shall 
amend or wholly reject it, as further light shall demand. Should I 
refuse or fail to do this, I should need to blush for my folly and in- 
consistency, for I say again that true christian consistency implies 
progress in knowledge and holiness, and such changes in theory 
and in practice as are demanded by increasing light. The opinions 
advanced in this and the preceding volume, I at present honestly 
entertain. In reviewing the previous volume, I can already see 
wherein, in several respects, the phraseology might be improved 
and the sentiment modified. Should I rewrite it a hundred times, 
I have no expectation that I should not continue to see how it might 
be improved. I have no doubt the same will be true of the present 
volume, On the strictly fundamental questions in theology my 
views have not, for many years, undergone any other change than 
that I have clearer apprehensions of them than formerly and should 



PREFACE. V 

now state some of them differently from what I formerly should 
have done. 

It is our custom in this Institution to settle every question, espe- 
cially in theology, by discussion. I have now for twelve years been 
going annually over my course of instruction in this manner, and 
owe not a little to my classes, for I have availed myself to the ut- 
termost of the learning and sagacity and talent of every member of 
my classes in pushing my investigations. I call on them to dis- 
cus's the questions which I present for discussion, and take my 
seat among them and help and guide them according to my ability ; 
and not unfrequently, I am happy to say, do I get some useful in- 
struction from them. Thus I sustain the double relation of pupil 
and teacher. 

I am also much indebted to my beloved associates in teaching. 
My brethren of the Faculty often afford me invaluable aid in many 
ways. Very full and frequent interchange of views has been of 
great service to me. The present volume appears at an earlier 
date than I anticipated. The lectures it contains have hitherto ex- 
isted only in skeleton form. I sat down last winter to write them 
out and completed about one half of them and was then induced to 
leave and spend the remainder of my vacation in Michigan labor- 
ing in revivals. I returned much wearied, not intending to write 
or publish this summer, but was overruled by the solicitations of 
those who take an interest in their publication, and have, in the midst 
of much bodily exhaustion and labor, both as Professor and Pas- 
tor, written out the remainder of the volume as it now appears. 
I have done the best I could under the circumstances. 

2. Another reason for publishing at this time and in this order is, 
I have been represented as differing so widely from many who are 
esteemed orthodox, that it is no more than just that one in my re- 
lations should define his position and give to the church the sub- 
stance of his views, especially if he be reported as not sound in the 
faith. 

3. Because I do not differ so widely from the commonly received 
views as I have often been represented as doing; and, 

4. That by subjecting my views to a more extended criticism 
than can be had in our circle here, I might have the help of my 
brethren the world over, (if they will take the trouble to read and 
write and discuss,) in coming as near as maybe, in this state of exis- 
tence, to the exact truth. 

5. That before I die I may see whatever serious errors I may 
hold in theology and correct them if the Lord will. I do not pre- 
serve my views to be published after I am dead, to spare myself the 
mortification of seeing them severely criticised, and overturned if 
false; but on the contrary I desire to subject them to the fullest crit- 
icism, that whatever is wrong in them may be thoroughly sifted 
out. 



VI PREFACE. 

As to the style in which they are written I can say nothing, ex- 
cept that I am aware that it is not in so good taste as I could wish. 
But it is in vain for me to affect or to claim literary merit. I aim 
at perspicuity, but am aware that I often fail in this respect. But 
my readers will bear with me if I do the best I can. As I am wri- 
ting on christian theology I can hardly feel called upon to apologize 
for making so copious quotations from scripture as I have done. 
Yet some may think that I have been needlessly prolix in this re- 
spect. My object has been, in many cases, to give the student a 
view rather of the general tenor of scripture upon the points un- 
der consideration than to give but few isolated passages. I have 
sometimes repeatedly quoted the same passages in different con- 
nexionr. This I have done alone for the sake of perspicuity and to 
avoid the necessity, in reading, of hesitating to remember the language 
of the passage referred to. Perhaps I have done this too frequently 
to edify those who are familiar with their bibles. If so, they can 
without trouble pass over those passages that are requoted, while 
those less familiar with their bibles may be edified by finding the 
living oracles so copiously and so repeatedly spread before their 
eyes. Indeed there are many parts of scripture that are so striking 
and always so new and interesting to me that I am never tired of 
seeing, hearing or reading them. 

I trust I shall not be sorry to see any reviews of this or any oth- 
er volume of mine, when it appears that the reviewer has exam- 
ined for himself, and understands my work, and is manifestly inquir- 
ing after truth. I will not promise to regard cavilers or any who 
may be disposed to find fault without really knowing " what they 
say or whereof they affirm." Let us have the truth, come from 
whomsoever it will. 

I have not hesitated in this volume to make free use of what I 
had before written and published in another form. I have done 
this when 1 could, not only to save labor, but to avoid the appear- 
ance of affecting to say something new upon the same subjects; 
but I have found it necessary to change my former phraseology 
considerably. This, as I have said, I always expect to continue to 
do while I keep my mind awake to inquiry and open to conviction. 
As the reader will perceive I am also indebted to Prof. Morgan 
for an article on the holiness of christians in this life. With his 
leave I inserted it, because it will more edify the student than any 
thing I could say upon that subject. This was prepared to my 
hand and deserved a more permanent form than that of a mere pam- 
phlet. 

THE AUTHOR. 
Oberlin, August 25th, 1847. 



CONTENTS, 



LECTURE XLV. 

Various Classes of Truths 

Enumerated and elucidated, 1 

LECTURE XLVI. 
Natural Ability. 

Show what is the Edwardean notion of ability, 11 

This natural ability is no ability at all, - - - - - - 13 

What, according to this school, constitutes natural inability, - - 14 

This natural inability is no inability at all, 15 

Natural ability is identical with freedom or liberty of will, - - - 1G 

The human will is free, therefore men have ability to do all their duty, 17 

LECTURE XLVII. 
Moral Ability. 

What constitutes moral inability according to the Edwardean school, - 20 
Their moral inability consists in real disobedience and a natural 

inability to obey, ---------25 

This pretended distinction between natural and moral inability is non- 
sensical, .----.---.-26 

What constitutes moral ability according to this school, 27 

Their moral ability to obey God is nothing else than real obedience, 

and a natural inability to disobey, 28 

LECTURE XL VIII. 
1 1* Ability. 

What is thought to be the fundamental error of the Edwardean 
school on the subject of ability, - 29 

State the philosophy of the scheme of inability about to be con- 
sidered, 30 

The claims of this philosophy, -- 32 

LECTURE XLIX. 
Gracious Ability. 

What is intended by the term, ------- 37 

This doctrine as held an absurdity, -------38 

In what sense a gracious ability is possible, ----- 44 



VIII CONTENTS. 

LECTURE L. 

The Notion of Inability. 
Proper mode of accounting for it, 52 

LECTURE LI. 

Repentance and Impenitence. 

What repentances not and what it is, ------ 65 

What is implied in it, 66 

What impenitence is not, ---- 69 

What it is, - 70 

Some things that are implied in it, 71 

Some evidences of it, 72 



LECTURE LII. 
Faith and Unbelief. 

What evangelical faith is not, - 78 

What it is, - - 79 

What is implied in it, - - - - - -• - -80 

What unbelief is not, --------- 85 

What it is, — What is implied in it, 86 

Conditions of both faith and unbelief, ------ 89 

The guilt and desert of unbelief,- -------91 

Natural and governmental consequences of both faith and unbelief, - 92 

LECTURE LIII. 
Justification. 

What justification is not, ---- 96 

What it is, 98 

Conditions of gospel justification, -------99 

LECTURE LIV. 
Sanctification. 
An account of the recent discussions that have been had on this 

subject, 166 

LECTURE LV. 
Sanctification. 

Remind you of some points that have been settled in this course of 

study, 197 

Definition of the principal terms to be used in this discussion, - - 196 

LECTURE LVI. 
Sanctification. 

Entire sanctification is attainable in this life, 204 

LECTURE LVII. 
Sanctification. 
Bible Argument, - 212 



CONTENTS. IX 

LECTURE LVIII. 
Sanctification. 
Paul entirely sanctified, - - - 232 

LECTURE LIX. 
Sanctification. 
Condition of its attainment, -------- 245 

LECTURE LX. 
Sanctification. 

Condition of its attainment — continued, - 254 

Relations of Christ to the believer, ._-.-. 257 

LECTURE LXI. 
Sanctification. 

Relations of Christ to the believer — continued, ----- 267 

LECTURE LXII. 
Sanctification. 
Relations of Christ to the believer — continued, ... - 280 

LECTURE LXIII. 
Sanctification. 
Relations of Christ to the believer — continued, ----- 293 

LECTURE LXIV. 
Sanctification. 
Relations of Christ to the believer — continued, ... - 307 

LECTURE LXV. 
Sanctification. 

Objections answered, -.. 319 

LECTURE LXVL 
Sanctification. 

Tendency of the denial that Christians have valid grounds of hope 

that they shall obtain a victory over sin in this life, - 359 

LECTURE LXVII. 
Sanctification. 

Objections — continued, 372 

LECTURE LXVJII. 
Sanctification. 

Objections— continued, . . 382 



X CONTENTS. 

LECTURE LXIX. 
Sanctification. 

Objections — continued, ......... 401 

LECTURE LXX. 

Sainctification. 

Remarks, - - . _ - ..... 414 

LECTURE LXXI. 

Election. 

Reference to points that have been settled, 425 

What the Bible doctrine of election is not, 426 

What the Bible doctrine of election is, - 427 

Prove the doctrine as stated to be true, - 428 

What could not have been the reason for election, - 431 

What must have been the reason for election, ----- 435 

When the election was made, - - 436 

Election does not render means for the salvation of the elect unne- 
cessary, -- 437 

Electiou lays a foundation for hope in the use of means, - - - 437 

Election does not oppose any obstacle to the salvation of the non-elect, - 437 

There is no injustice in election, 438 

This is the best that could be done for the inhabitants of this worid, - 438 

How we may ascertain our own election, ----- 439 

Inferences and remarks, --------- 439 

LECTURE LXXII. 

Reprobation. 

What the true doctrine of reprobation is not, ..... 444 

What the true doctrine of reprobation is, . . . . 445 

This is a doctrine of reason, ....... . 445 

This is a doctrine of revelation, .,...;. 447 

Why sinners are reprobated or rejected, ... ... 448 

When sinners are reprobated, ....... 452 

Reprobation just, . . 452 

Reprobation is benevolent, 452 

Reprobation is the best thing that can be done, all things considered, . 453 

How it may be known who are reprobated, ..... 454 

Objections, 457 

Remarks, 463 

LECTURE LXXI1I. 

Divine Sovereignty. 

What is not intended by the term sovereignty when applied to God, . 466 

What is intended by Divine Sovereignty, ..... 467 

God is and ought to be a universal and absolute sovereign, . . 463 

Remarks, . 477 



CONTENTS. XI 

LECTURE LXXIV. 

Purposes of God. 

What the writer understands by the purposes of God, . . . 479 
Distinction between purpose and decree, ...... 480 

There must be some sense in which God's purposes extend to all events, 482 
Different senses in which God purposes different events, . . . 490 
God's revealed will, never inconsistent with his secret purpose, . 498 

Wisdom and benevolence of the purposes of God, .... 505 

The immutability of the divine purposes 506 

The purposes of God a ground of eternal and joyful confidence. . . 506 
The relation of God's purposes to his prescience. . . ... 506 

God's purposes not inconsistent with, but demand the use of means both 
on his part and on ours, to accomplish them. , 507 

LECTURE LXXV. 

Perseverance of Saints. 

Notice the different kinds of certainty. . . . ; . .510 

What is not intended by the perseverance of the saints. . . . 516 

LECTURE LXXVI. 
Perseverance of Saints. 

Objections answered, ......... 517 

LECTURE L VII. 

Perseverance of Saints, 

Further objections considered 553 

LECTURE LXXVIII. 
Perseverance of Saints. 

Consideration of the principal arguments in support of the doctrine. . 571 

LECTURE LXXIX. 

Perseverance of Saints. 
Perseverance proved. •, 594 



FINxVEY'S LECTURES 

ON 

SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

LECTURE XLV. 
VARIOUS CLASSES OF TRUTHS, 

AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THE HUMAN MIND ATTAINS 
TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THEM. 

Before we proceed further in these investigations, I must 
call your attention to a subject that properly belongs at the 
beginning of this course of study, and which will be found 
there, should these lectures ever be published in their proper 
order: I allude to the various classess of truths to come under 
consideration in this course of instruction, with the manner 
in which we arrive at a knowledge or belief of them. All 
human investigations proceed upon the assumption of the 
existence and validity of our faculties, and that their une- 
quivocal testimony may be relied upon. To deny this, is to 
set aside at once the possibility of knowledge or rational 
belief, and to give up the mind to universal skepticism. The 
classes of truths to which we shall be called upon to attend 
in our investigations, may be divided with sufficient accuracy 
for our purpose, into truths that need no proof and truths 
that need proof. The human mind is so constituted that by 
virtue of its own laws, it necessarily perceives, recognizes, 
or knows some truths without testimony from without. It 
takes direct cognizance of them, and can not but do so. 

The first class, that is, truths that need no proof, may be 
subdivided into truths of the pure reason, and truths of 
sensation. These two classes are in some sense self-evident, 
but not in the same sense. , Truths of the pure reason are 



•1 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



intuitions of that faculty, and truths of sensation are intui- 
tions of the senses. I shall therefore speak of self-evident 
truths of reason, and self-evident truths of sensation. I must 
assume that you possess some knowledge of psychology, and 
take it for granted that you understand the difference be- 
tween the intuitions of reason, and the intuitions of sense. 

By self-evident truths of reason, then, I mean that class of 
truths that are directly intuited and affirmed by that faculty, 
in the light of their own evidence, and by virtue of its own 
laws, whenever they are so stated that the terms of the pro- 
position in which they are conveyed are understood. They 
are not arrived at by reasoning, or by evidence of any kind 
except what they have in themselves. As soon as the terms 
of the propositions in which they are stated, are understood, 
the reason instantly and positively affirms their truth. It is 
unnecessary and preposterous to attempt any other proof 
of this class of truths than to frame a perspicuous statement 
of them. Nay, it is positively injurious, because absurd, to 
attempt to prove — in the common acceptation of the term 
prove — a self-evident truth of reason. All attempts to prove 
such truths by reasoning, involve an absurdity, and are as 
much a work of supererogation, as it would be to attempt to 
prove that you see an object with your eyes fully open and 
set upon it. 

The mathematical axioms belong to this class. 

The self-evident truths of reason are truths of certain 
knowledge. When once so stated, or in any way presented 
to the mind as to be understood, the mind does not merely 
believe them, it knows them to be absolutely true. That is, 
it perceives them to be absolute truths, and knows that it is 
impossible that they should not be true. Although this class 
of truths are never arrived at by reasoning, yet much use is 
made of them in reasoning, since the major premise of a syl- 
logism is often a self-evident truth of reason. 

This class of truths are affirmed by a faculty entirely dis- 
tinct from the understanding, or that power that gains all its 
knowledges from sense. It takes cognizance of a class of 
truths that from their nature, forever lie concealed from the 
senses, and consequently from the understanding. Sensa- 
tion can never give us the abstract truths of mathematics. 
It can never give us the absolute, or the infinite. It can not 
give moral law, or law at all. Sensation can give facts, but 
not laws and principles. 



VARIOUS CLASSES OP TRUTHS. 



That God, and space, and duration, are infinite; that all 
God's attributes must be infinite, are self-evident truths of 
reason; that is, they are truths of a priori, affirmation and 
assumption. They are never arrived at by reasoning, or hy 
induction, and never can be. The mind only knows them by 
virtue of its own laws, and directly assumes and intuits them, 
whenever they are suggested. The eye of reason sees them as 
distinctly as the mind sees objects of vision presented to the 
fleshly organ of vision. The mind is so constructed that it 
sees some things with the natural fleshly eye, and some truths 
it sees directly with its own eye without the use of an eye of 
flesh. All the self-evident truths of reason belong to this 
class; that is, they are truths which the mind sees and tyiows, 
and does not merely believe. In reasoning, the bare state- 
ment of a self-evident truth is enough, provided, as has been 
said, that it is so perspicuously stated that the terms of 
the proposition are understood. It should be borne in mind, 
in reasoning, that all men have minds, and that the laws of 
knowledge are physical, and, of course, fixed, and common to 
all men. The conditions of knowledge are in all men the 
same. We are therefore always to assume that self-evident 
truths can not but be known, so soon as they are stated with 
such perspicuity as that the terms in which they are expressed 
are understood. Our future inquiries will present many 
illustrations of the truth of these remarks. 

It should be also remarked that universality is an attri- 
bute of the self-evident truths of reason. That is, they are 
universal in the sense, 

(1.) That all men affirm them to be true when they under- 
stand them; and, 

('2.) They all affirm them to be true in the same way; 
that is, by direct intuition, or they perceive them in their own 
light, and not through the medium of reasoning, demonstra- 
tion, or sense; and, 

(3.) Self-evident truths of reason are true without excep- 
tion, and in this sense also universal. 

(4.) Necessity is also an attribute of self-evident truths. 
That is, they are necessarily true, and cannot but be so re- 
garded. And when the conditions which have been named 
are fulfilled, they can not but be so known to every moral 
agent. 

Self-evident truths of reason may be again divided into 
truths merely self-evident, and first-truths of reason. This 
class of truths possess all the characteristics of self-evident 



4 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

truths, to wit: they are universal truths; they are necessary 
truths; they are truths of direct intuition; they are truths of 
certain knowledge. 

Their peculiarity is this: they are truths that are necessa- 
rily and universally known by moral agents. That is, they 
are not distinguished from mere self-evident truths of reason, 
except by the fact that from the laws of moral agency they are 
known universally, and all moral agents do and must possess 
certain knowledge of them. 

They are truths of necessary and universal assumption. 
Whether they are, at all times, or at any time, directly thought 
of, or made the particular object of the mind : s attention or 
not, tney are nevertheless at all times assumed by a law of 
universal necessity. Suppose, for example, that the law of 
causality should not be, at all times or at any time, a subject 
of distinct thought and attention. Suppose that the proposi- 
tion in words, should never be in the mind, that "every event 
must have a cause." Still the truth is there, in the form of 
absolute knowledge, a necessary assumption, an a priori affirm- 
ation, and the mind has so firm a hold of it as to be utterly 
unable to overlook, or forget, or practically deny it. Every 
mind has it as a certain knowledge, long before it can under- 
stand the language in which it is expressed, and no statement 
or evidence whatever can give the mind any firmer conviction 
of its truth, than it had from necessity at first. This is true 
of all the truths of this class. They are always and neces- 
sarily assumed by all moral agents, whether distinctly 
thought of or not. And for the most part this class of truths 
are assumed without being frequently, or at least, without 
being generally the object of thought or direct attention. 
The mind assumas them without a direct consciousness of 
the assumption. 

For example, we act every moment, and judge, and rea- 
son, and believe, upon the assumption that every event 
must have a causs, and yet we are not conscious of thinking 
of this truth, nor that we assume it until something calls the 
attention to it. First-truths of reason, then, let it be distinct- 
ly remembered, are always and necessarily assumed, though 
they may be seldom thought of. They are universally 
known before the words are understood by which they may 
be expressed, and although they may never be expressed in a 
formal proposition, yet the mind has as certain a knowledge 
of them as it has of its own existence. 



VAKIOUS CLASSES OF TRUTHS. O 

But it is proper to inquire whether there are any condi- 
tions of this assumption, and if so, what they are? Does 
the intelligence make this assumption upon certain condi- 
tions, or independent of all or any conditions? The true 
answer to this inquiry is, that the mind makes the assump- 
tion only upon the fulfillment of certain conditions. These 
conditions being fulfilled, the intelligence instantly and neces- 
sarily makes the assumption by a law of its own nature, and 
makes it whether the assumption be a distinct object of con- 
sciousness or not. 

The only condition of this assumption that needs to be 
mentioned, is the perception of that by the mind to which 
the first truth sustains the relation of a logical antecedent or 
of a logical condition. For example, to develop and neces- 
sitate the assumption that every event must have a cause, 
the mind only needs to perceive or to have the conception of 
an event, whereupon the assumption in question instantly fol- 
lows by a law of the intelligence. This assumption is not a 
logical deduction from any premise whatever, but upon the 
perception of an event, or upon the mind's having the idea 
or notion of an event, the intelligence irresistably, by virtue 
of its own laws, assumes the first-truth of causality as the 
logical and necessary condition of the event: that is, it as- 
sumes that an event and every event must have a cause. 

The condition upon which the first-truths of reason are 
assumed or developed, is called the chronological condition of 
their development, because it is prior in time and in the order 
of nature to their development. The mind perceives an 
event. It thereupon assumes the first-truth of causality. It 
perceives body, and thereupon assumes the first-truth, space 
15, and must be. It perceives succession, and necessarily as- 
sumes that time is, and must be. These first-truths, let it be 
repeated, are not assumed in the form of a proposition, 
thought of or expressed in words, nor is the mind at the 
time always, or perhaps ever, at first, distinctly conscious of 
the assumption, yet the truth is from that moment within the 
mind's inalienable possession, and must forever after be re- 
cognized in all the practical judgments of the mind. 

Thus, it should be distinctly said, do the first-truths of 
reason lie so deep in the mind as perhaps seldom to appear 
directly on the field of conscious thought, and yet so abso- 
lutely does the mind know them, that it can no more forget, 
or overlook, or practically deny them, than it can forget, or 
overlook, or in practice deny its own existence, 
1* 



D SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

I have said that all reasoning proceeds upon the assump- 
tion of these truths. It must do so of necessity. It is prepos- 
terous to attempt to prove first-truths to a moral agent: for if 
a moral agent, he must absolutely know them already, and if 
he did not, in no possible way could he be put in possession 
of them except by presenting to his perception the chrono- 
logical condition of their development, and in no case could 
any thing else be needed, for upon the occurrence of this 
perception, the assumption or development follows by a law 
of absolute and universal necessity. And until these truths 
are actually developed, no being can be a moral agent. 

There is no reasoning with one who calls in question the 
first-truths of reason, and demands proof of them. All rea- 
soning must, from the nature of mind and the laws of reason- 
ing, assume the first-truths of reason as certain, and admit- 
ted, and as the a priori condition of all logical deductions 
and demonstrations. Some one of these must be assumed as 
true, directly or indirectly, in every syllogism and in every 
demonstration. 

In all our future investigations in the line of truth we 
shall pursue, we shall have abundant occasions for the appli- 
cation and illustration of what has now been said of first- 
truths of reason. If, at any stage of our progress, we light 
upon a truth of this class, let it be borne in mind that the 
nature of the truth is the preclusion, or as lawyers would 
express it, the estopple of all controversy. 

To deny the reality of this class of truths, is to deny the 
validity of our most perfect knowledge and of course it is a 
denial of the validity of our faculties. The only question to 
be settled in respect to this class of truths, is, does the truth 
in question belong to this class? There are many of this 
class that have not been generally recognized as belonging 
to it. Of this we shall have abundant instances fall in our 
way as we proceed in our investigations. There are many 
truths which men, all sane men, certainly know, of which 
they not only seldom think, but which, in theory, they stren- 
uously deny. 

Before I dismiss this branch of our subject, I will mention 
some of the many truths that undeniably belong to this class, 
leaving others to be mentioned as we proceed and fall in 
with them in future investigations. 

I have already noticed three of this class, to wit; the 
truth of causality — the existence of space and of time. That 
the whole of any thing is equal to all its parts, is also a truth 



i 

VARIOUS CLASSES OF TRUTHS. 7 

of this class, universally and necessarily known and assumed 
by every moral agent. Also, that a thing cannot be and not 
be at the same time. 

A third class of self-evident truths are particular truths 
of reason. The reason directly intuits and affirms them. 
They are truths of certain knowledge, but have not the attri- 
butes of universality or infinity. To this class belong the 
truths of our own existence, of personal identity, and indi- 
viduality. These are not truths of sensation, nor are they 
first or self-evident truths according to the common use of those 
terms. Yet they are truths of rational intuition, and are 
seen to be true in the light of their own evidence, and as 
such are given to us as undoubtable verities by conscious- 
ness. 

All the truths that come within the pale of our own ex- 
perience, that is, all our mental exercises and states are 
truths self-evident to us. We need no proof of them. Wheth- 
er they are phenomena or states of the Intellect, of the 
Will, or of the Sensibility. When thus spoken of, in mass, 
they can not be called self-evident truths, except in the sense 
that to ourselves they appear on the field of consciousness as 
facts or realities, and we know or affirm them with undoubting 
certainty. 

Truths of sensation I have said, are in a certain sense, 
self-evident truths. That is, they are facts ofw r hich the mind 
has direct knowledge through the medium of the senses. In 
speaking of truths of sensation as in some sense self-evident, 
I mean of course truths or facts of our own senses, or those 
revealed directly to us by our own senses. I know it is not com- 
mon to speak of this class of truths as self-evident; and they 
are not so in the sense in which simple rational intuitions are. 
Yet they are facts or truths which need no proof to estab- 
lish them to us. The fact that I hold this pen in my hand is 
as really self-evident to me, as that three and two are five. I 
as really know or perceive the one as the other, and neither 
the one nor the other needs any proof. It is not my design 
to exhaust this subject, nor to enter upon nice and highly 
metaphysical distinctions, but only to give hints and make 
suggestions that will call your attention to the subject, 
and meet our necessities during our present course of study, 
leaving it to your convenience to enter upon a more critical 
analysis of this subject. 

Of truths that require proof, the first class to which I must 
call attention, is the truths of demonstration. This class of 



S SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

truths admit of so high a degree of proof, that when the dem- 
onstration is complete, the intelligence affirms that it is im- 
possible that they should not be true. This class when truly 
demonstrated, are known to be true with no less certainty than 
self-evident truths; but the mind arrives not at the perception 
and knowledge of them in the same way. That class is arriv- 
ed at universally, directly and a priori, that is, by direct in- 
tuition without reasoning. This class is arrived at universal- 
ly by reasoning. The former are obtained without any logi- 
cal processes, while this last class is always and necessarily 
obtained as a result of a logical process. We often get these 
troths by a process strictly logical without being at all aware 
of the way in which we came to be possessed of them. This 
class, then, unlike the other, are not to be communicated and 
established without reasoning, but by reasoning. In this 
class of truths the mind from its own laws will not rest, unless 
they be demonstrated. They admit of demonstration, and 
from their nature and the nature of the intelligence, they 
must be demonstrated before they can be known and rested 
in as certain knowledge. Many of them may be received in 
the sense of being believed without an absolute demonstra- 
tion. But the mind cannot properly be said to know them 
until it has gone through with the demonstration, and then it 
can not but know them. 

To possess the mind of a first-truth of reason you need only 
to present the chronological condition of its development. To 
reveal a self-evident truth of reason, you need only to state it 
in terms of sufficient perspicuity. But to prove a truth be- 
longing to the class now under consideration you must fulfill 
the logical conditions of the intellect's affirming it. That is, 
vou must demonstrate it. 

The next class to be considered are truths of revelation. I 
mean truths revealed by Divine Inspiration. All truths are 
in some way revealed to the mind, but not all by the Inspira- 
tion of the Holy Spirit. Some of this class are known and 
some only believed by the mind. That is, some of these 
truths are objects or truths of knowledge or of intuition, 
when brought by the Holy Spirit within the field of vision or 
of intuition. Others of them are only truths of faith or truths 
to be believed. The divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ is a 
truth of revelation of the first class, that is, a truth of intu- 
ition or of certain knowledge when revealed to the mind by 
the Holy Spirit. This truth when thus revealed, the pure 
reason directly intuits. It knows that Jesus is the true God, 



VARIOUS CLASSES OF TRUTHS. 



9 



and eternal life by the same law by which it knows the first- 
truths of reason. The only account the soul can give of this 
truth is, that it knows it to be true. It sees or perceives it to 
be true. But this perception or intuition is conditionated 
upon the revelation of the Holy Spirit. " He shall take of 
mine, 1 ' said Jesus, " and shew it unto you." More on this 
topic in its proper place. The facts and truths connected 
with the humanity of the Lord Jesus are of the second class 
of truths of revelation, that is, they are only truths of belief 
or of faith, as distinct from truths of the pure reason or of 
intuition. 

This class of truths from their nature are not susceptible of 
intuition. They may be so revealed that the soul will have 
no doubt of them, and hardly distinguish them from truths of 
certain knowledge, nevertheless they are only believed and 
not certainly known as truths of intuition are. 

The Bible is not of itself strictly and properly a revelation 
to man. It is, properly speaking, rather a history of revela- 
tions formerly made to certain men. To be a revelation to 
us, its truths must be brought by the Holy Spirit within the 
field of spiritual vision. This is, past question, the condition 
of our either knowing or properly believing the truths of rev- 
elation. cc No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the 
Holy Spirit." " No man can come to me, except the Father 
which hath sent me, draw him." "They shall all be taught of 
God."' "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit 
of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritu- 
ally discerned." u He that is spiritual, [has the Spirit,] judg- 
eth all things." 

But I must not in this place dwell longer upon this subject. 
I would only add now that those who call in question the 
divinity of Christ exhibit conclusive evidence that Christ has 
never been revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. Those who 
hold his divinity as a theory or opinion, are not at all benefit- 
ted by it, for Christ is not savingly known to any except by the 
revelation of the Holy Spirit. 

To the classes of truths already considered might be added 
several others, such as Probable Truths, Possible Truths, &;c. 
But I have carried this discussion far enough to answer the 
purposes of this course of instruction, and I trust far enough to 
impress your minds with asense of the importance of attending 
to the classifying of truths and of ascertaining the particular 
class to which a truth belongs as the condition of successfully 
attempting to gain the possession of it yourself, or of pos- 



10 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



sessing the minds of others with it. As religious teachers you 
can not be too deeply impressed with the importance of 
attending to this classification. 1 am fully convinced that 
much of the inefficiency of religious teachers is owing to the 
fact that they do not sufficiently study and comply with the 
laws of knowledge and belief to carry conviction to the minds 
of their hearers. They seem not to have considered the 
different classes of truths, and how the mind comes to possess a 
knowledge or belief of them. Consequently they either spend 
time in worse than useless efforts to prove first or self-evident 
truths, or expect truths susceptible of demonstration to be 
received and rested in, without such demonstration. They 
often make little or no distinction between the differ- 
ent classes of truths, and seldom or never call the attention 
of ftheir hearers to this distinction. Consequently they con- 
fuse and often confound their hearers by gross violations of all 
the laws of logic, knowledge, and belief. I have often 
been pained and even agonized at the faultiness of religious 
teachers in this respect. Study to shew yourselves approved, 
workmen that need not to be ashamed, and able to commend 
yourselves to e\ery man's conscience in the sight of God. 



LECTURE XL VI. 
NATURAL ABILITY. 

In discussing this subject I will endeavor to show, 

I. The Edwardean notion of Natural Ability. 

II. That this natural ability is no ability at all. 

III. What constitutes Natural Inability according 
to this school. 

IV. That this natural inability is no inability at all. 

V. That natural ability is properly identical with 
Freedom or Liberty of Will. 

VI. That the human will is free, and therefore 

MEN ARE NATURALLY ABLE TO OBEY GoD. 

We next proceed to the examination of the question of 
man's ability or inability to obey the commandments of God. 
This certainly must be a fundamental question in morals and 
religion, and as our views are upon this subject, so, if we are 
consistent, must be our views of God, of his moral government, 
and of every practical doctrine of morals and religion. This 
is too obvious to require proof. The question of ability has 
truly been a vexed question. In the discussion of it, I shall 
consider the elder President Edwards as the representative 
of the common Calvinistic view of this subject, because he 
has stated it more clearly than any other Calvinistic author 
with whom I am acquainted. When, therefore, I speak of 
the Edwardean doctrine of ability and inability, you will 
understand me to speak of the common view of Calvinistic 
theological writers as stated, summed up, and defended by 
Edwards. 

I. I AM TO SHOW WHAT IS THE EDWARDEAN NOTION OF 
NATURAL ABILITY. 

Edwards considers freedom and ability as identical. 
He defines freedom or liberty to consist in u the power, 
opportunity, or advantage, that any one has, to do as he 
pleases" "Or in other words his being free from hindrance 
or impediment in the way of doing or conducting in any respect 
as he wills." — Works, Vol. ii, page 38. 

Again, page 39, he says, "One thing more I should observe 
concerning what is vulgarly called liberty; namely, that power 



12 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



and opportunity for one to do and conduct as he will, or 
according to his choice, is all that is meant by it; without 
taking into the meaning of the word any thing of the cause 
of that choice; or at all considering how the person came to 
have such a volition; whether it was caused by-some external 
motive or internal habitual bias; whether it was determined 
by some internal antecedent volition, or whether it happened 
without a cause; whether it was necessarily connected with 
something foregoing or not connected. Let the person come 
by his choice any how, yet, if he is able, and there is nothing 
in the way to hinder his pursuing and exerting his will, the 
man is perfectly free, according to the primary and common 
notion of freedom." In the preceding paragraph, he says, 
4u There are two things contrary to what is called liberty in 
common speech. One is constraint; which is a person's 
being necessitated to do a thing contrary to his will: the other 
is restraint, which is his being hindered, and not having 
power to do according to his will." 

Power, ability, liberty, to do as you will, are synonymous 
with this writer. The foregoing quotations with many like 
passages that might be quoted from the same author, show 
that natural liberty, or natural ability, according to him, con- 
sists in the natural and established connexion between voli- 
tion and its effects. Thus he says in another place, "Men 
are justly said to be able to do what they can do if they will." 
His definition of natural ability or natural liberty, as he fre- 
quently calls it, wholly excludes the power to will, and includes 
only the power or ability to execute our volitions. Thus it is 
evident that natural ability according to him respects external 
action only, and has nothing to do with witling. When there 
is no restraint or hindrance to the execution of volition, when 
there is nothing interposed to disturb and prevent the natural 
and established result of our volitions, there is natural ability 
according to this school. It should be distinctly understood 
that Edwards and those of his school, hold that choices, voli- 
tions, and all acts of will, are determined not by the sovereign 
power of the agent, but are caused by the objective motive, and 
that there is the same connection, or a connection as certain and 
as unavoidable between motive and choice as between any phys- 
ical cause and its effect: M the difference being," according to 
him, u notin the nature of the connexion, but in the terms connec- 
ted." Hence, according to his view, natural liberty or ability 
can not consist in the power of willing or of choice, but must 
consist in the power to execute our choices or volitions. 



NATURAL ABILITY. # 13 

Consequently this class of philosophers define free or moral 
agency to consist in the power to do as one wills, or power to 
execute one's purposes, choices, or volitions. That this is a 
fundamentally false definition of natural liberty or ability, 
and of free or moral agency, we shall see in due time. It is 
also plain that the natural ability or liberty of Edwards and 
his school, has nothing to do with morality or immorality. 
Sin and holiness, as we have seen in a former lecture, 
are attributes of acts of will only. But this natural ability 
respects, as has been said, outward or muscular action only* 
Let this be distinctly borne in mind as we proceed. 

II. This natural ability is no ability at all. 

1. We know from consciousness that the will is the ex- 
ecutive faculty and that we can do absolutely nothing with- 
out willing. The power or ability to will is indispensable to 
our acting at all. If we have not power to will, we have 
not power or ability to do any thing. All ability or power 
to do resides in the will, and power to will is the necessary 
condition of ability to do. In morals and icligion, as we 
shall soon see, the willing is the doing. The power to will 
is the condition of obligation to do. Let us hear Edwards 
himself upon this subject. Vol. ii, page 156, he says ** the 
will itself and not only those actions which are the effects or 
the will, is the proper object of precept or command. That 
is, such a state or acts of men's wills, are in many cases 
properly required of them by commands; and not only those 
alterations in the state of their bodies or minds that are the 
consequences of volition. This is most manifest; for it is 
the mind only that is properly and directly the subject of 
precepts or commands; that only being capable of receiving 
or perceiving commands. The motions of the body are mat- 
ters of command only as they are subject to the soul, and 
connected with its acts. But the soul has no other faculty 
whereby it can, in the most direct and proper sense, consent, 
yield to, or comply with any command, but the faculty of the 
will; and it is by this faculty only that the soul can directiv 
disobey or refuse compliance; for the very notions of consent* 
ing, yielding, accepting, complying, refusing, rejecting, «fcc, are. 
according to the meaning of terms, nothing but certain acts 
of will." Thus we see that Edwards himself held that the 
will is the executive faculty, and that the soul can do nothing 
except as it wills to do it, and that for this reason a com- 
mand to do, is strictly a command to will. We shall sec by 



14 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

and by, that he held also that the willing and the doing arc 
identical so far as moral obligation, morals, and religion are 
concerned. For the present, it is enough to say, whether 
Edwards or any body else ever held it or not, that it is 
absurd and sheer nonsense to talk of an ability to do when 
there is no ability to will. Every one knows with intuitive 
certainty that he has no ability to do what he is unable to 
wilt to do. It is, therefore, the veriest folly to talk of a 
natural ability to do any thing whatever, when we exclude 
from this ability the power to will. If there is no ability to 
will, there is, and can be no ability to do; therefore the 
natural ability of the Edwardean school is no ability at all. 

Let it be distinctly understood, that whatever Edwards 
held in respect to the ability of man to do, ability to will en- 
tered not at all into his idea and definition of natural abil- 
ity or liberty. But according to him, natural ability respects 
only the connexion that is established by a. law of nature 
between volition and its sequents, excluding altogether the 
inquiry how the volition comes to exist, This the foregoing 
quotations abundantly show. Let the impression, then, be 
distinct, that the Edwardean natural ability is no ability at all. 
and nothing but an empty name, a mvXaphysico-thcological 

FICTION. 

III. What constitutes natural inability according 

TO THIS SCHOOL. 

Edwards, Vol. ii, page 35, says, u We are said to be natu- 
rally unable to do a thing when we can not do it if we will, 
because what is most commonly called nature does not allow 
of it, or because of some impeding defect or obstacle that is 
extrinsic to the Will; either in the faculty of understanding, 
constitution of body, or external objects." This quotation, 
together with much that might be quoted from this author to 
the same eiFcct, shows that natural inability according to him, 
consists in a want of power to execute our volitions. In the 
absence of power to do as we will, if the willing exists and 
the eiFect docs not follow, it is only because we are unable to 
do as we will, and this is natural inability. We are naturally 
unable, according to him, to do what does not follow by a nat- 
ural law from our volitions. If I will to move my arm, and 
the muscles do not obey volition, I am naturally unable to 
move my arm. So with any thing else. Here let it be dis- 
tinctly observed that natural inability as well as natural ability 
respects and belongs only to outward action or doing. It has 



NATURAL ABILITY. 15 

nothing to do with ability to will. Whatever Edwards held 
respecting ability to will, which will be shown in its proper 
place, I wish it to be distinctly understood that his natural 
inability had nothing to do with willing, but only with the 
effects of willing. When the natural effect of willing does 
not follow volition, its cause, here is a proper natural inability. 

IV. This natural inability is no inability at all. 

By this is intended that so far as morals and religion are 
concerned, the willing is the doing, and therefore where the 
willing actually takes place, the real thing required or pro- 
hibited is already done. Let us hear Edwards upon this sub- 
ject. Vol. ii, page 164, he says, "If the will fully complies 
and the proposed effect does not prove, according to the laws 
of nature, to be connected with his volition, the man is per- 
fectly excused; he has a natural inability to the thing re- 
quired. For the will itself, as has been observed, is all that 
can be directly and immediately required by command, and 
other things only indirectly, as connected with the will. If, 
therefore, there be a full compliance of will, the person has 
done his duty; and if other things do not prove to be con- 
nected with his volition, that is not criminally owing to him.' v 
Here, then, it is manifest that the Edwardean notions of 
natural ability and inability have no connection with moral 
law or moral government, and, of course, with morals and 
religion. That the Bible every where accounts the willing 
as the deed, is most manifest. Both as it respects sin and 
holiness, if the required or prohibited act of the will takes 
place, the moral law and the lawgiver regard the deed as 
having been done, or the sin committed, whatever impediment 
may have prevented the natural effect from following. Here, 
then, let it be distinctly understood and remembered that Ed- 
ward's natural inability is, so far as morals and religion arc 
concerned, no inability at all. An inability to execute our 
volitions, is in no case an inability to do our whole duty, since 
moral obligation, and of course, duty, respect strictly, only 
acts of will. A natural inability must consist, as we shall 
see, in an inability to wilL It is truly amazing that Edwards 
could have written the paragraph just quoted, and others to 
the same effect, without perceiving the fallacy and absurdity 
of his speculation — without seeing that the ability or inability 
about which he was writing had no connection with morals 
or religion. How could he insist so largely that moral obli- 
gation respects acts of will only, and yet spend so much time 



Jfi 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



in writing about an ability or inability to comply with moral 
obligation that respects outward action exclusively? This, 
on the face of it, was wholly irrelevant to the subject of 
morals and religion* upon which subjects he was professedly 
writing. 

V. Natural ability is identical with freedom or 

LIBERTY OF WILL. 

It has been, I trust, abundantly shown in a former lecture, 
and is admitted and insisted on by Edwards, 

1. That moral obligation respects strictly only acts ©f 
will. 

'2. That the whole of moral obligation resolves itself into 
an obligation to be disinterestedly benevolent, that is, to will 
the highest good of being for its own sake. 

3. That willing is the doing required by the true spirit of 
the moral law. 

Ability, therefore, to will in accordance with the moral law, 
must be natural ability to obey God. 
But, 

4. This is and must be the only proper freedom of the 
will, so far as morals and religion, or so far as moral law is 
concerned. That must constitute true liberty of will that 
consists in the ability or power to will either in accordance 
with or in opposition to the requirements of moral law. Or 
in other words, true freedom or liberty of will must consist in 
the power or ability to will in every instance either in accord- 
ance with, or in opposition to moral obligation. Observe, 
moral obligation respects acts of will. What freedom or lib- 
erty of will can there be in relation to moral obligation, un- 
less the will or the agent has power or ability to act in con- 
formity with moral obligation? To talk of a man's being free 
to will, or having liberty to will, when he has not the power 
or ability, is to talk nonsense. Edwards himself holds that 
ability to ofo, is indispensable to liberty to do. But if ability 
to do be a sine qua non of liberty to do, must not the same be 
true of willing?— that is, must not ability to will be essential 
to liberty to will? Natural ability and natural liberty to will, 
must then be identical. Let this be distinctly remembered, 
since many have scouted the doctrine of natural ability to 
obey God, who have nevertheless been great sticklers for the 
freedom of the will. In this they are greatly inconsistent. 
This ability is called a natural ability because it belongs to 



NATURAL ABILITY. 17 

man as a moral agent, in such a sense that without it he could 
not be a proper subject of command, of reward or punishment. 
That is, without this liberty or ability he could not be a moral 
agent and a proper subject of moral government. He must 
then either possess this power in himself as essential to his 
own nature, or must possess power, or be able to avail him- 
self of power to will in every instance in accordance with 
moral obligation. Whatever he can do he can do only by 
willing; he must therefore either possess the power in himself 
directly to will as God commauds, or he must be able by will- 
ing it to avail himself of power, and to make himself willing. 
If he has power by nature to will directly as God requires, 
or by willing to avail himself of power so to will, he is natu- 
rally free and able to obey the commandments of God. Then 
let it be borne distinctly in mind, that natural ability, about 
which so much has been said, is nothing more nor less than 
the freedom or liberty of the will of a moral agent. No man 
knows what he says or whereof he affirms, who holds to the 
one and denies the other, for they are truly and properly 
identical. 

VI. The human will is free, therefore men have 
tower OR ability to do all their dutv. 

1. The moral government of God every where assumes 
and implies the liberty of the human will, and the natural 
ability of men to obey God. Every command, every threat- 
ening, every expostulation and denunciation in the Bible im- 
plies and assumes this. 

Nor does the bible do violence to the human intelli- 
gence in this assumption; for. 

2. The human mind necessarily assumes the freedom of 
the human will as a first-truth of reason. 

First-truths of reason, let it be remembered, arc those 
that are necessarily assumed by every moral agent. They 
are assumed always and necessarily by a law of the intelli- 
gence, although they may seldom be the direct objects of 
thought or attention. It is a universal law of the intelli- 
gence, to assume the truths of causality, the existence and 
the infinity of space, the existence and infinity of duration, 
and many other truths. This assumption every moral agent 
always and necessarily takes with him, whether these thing? 
are matters of attention or not. And even should he deny 
any one or all of the first-truths of reason, he knows them 
to be true notwithstanding, and can not but assume their 



18 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



truth in all his practic.il judgments. Thus, should any one 
deny the law and the doctrine of causality, as some in theo- 
ry have done, he knows and cannot but know, he assumes 
and cannot but assume its truth at every moment. Without 
this assumption he could not so much as intend, or think of do- 
ing, or of any one else doing any thing whatever. But a great 
pari, of his time, he may not and does not make this law a 
distinct object of thought or attention. Nor is he directly 
ronscious of the assumption that there is such a law. He acts 
always upon the assumption, and a great part of his time is 
insensible of it. His whole activity is only the exercise of 
his own causality and a practical acknowledgment of 
the truth, which in theory he may deny. Now just so it 
is with the freedom of the will and with natural ability. 
Did we not assume our own liberty and ability, we should 
never think of attempting to do any thing. We should not 
so much as think of moral obligation, either as it respects 
ourselves or others, unless we assumed the liberty of the 
human will. In all our judgments respecting our own moral 
character and that of others we always and necessarily as- 
sume the liberty of the human will or natural ability to 
obey God. Although we may not be distinctly conscious of 
this assumption, though we m^y seldom make the liberty of 
the human will the subject of direct thought or attention, 
and even though we may deny its reality and strenuously 
endeavor to maintain the opposite, we nevertheless in this 
very denial and endeavor assume that we are free. This 
truth never was, and never can be rejected in our practical 
judgments. All men assume it. All men must assume it. 
Whenever they choose in one direction, they always assume, 
whether conscious of the assumption or not, and cannot but 
assume that they have power to will in the opposite direc- 
tion. Did they not assume this, such a thing as election 
between two ways or objects would not nor could not be so 
much as thought of. The \ery ideas of right and wrong, of 
the praise and blameworthiness of human beings, imply the 
assumption on the part of those who have these ideas of the 
universal freedom of the human will, or of the natural abili- 
ty of men as moral agents to obey God. Were not this 
assumption in the mind, it were impossible from its own na- 
ture and laws that it should affirm moral obligation, right or 
wrong, praise or blameworthiness of men. I know that phi- 
losophers and theologians have in theory denied the doctrine 
of natural ability or liberty in the sense in which I have de- 



NATURAL ABILITY. 19 

fined it. and I know too, that with all their theorizing, they 
did assume in common with all other men that man is free in 
the sense that he has liberty or power to will as God com- 
mands. I know that but for this assumption the human mind 
could no more predicate praise or blameworthiness, right or 
wrong of man, than it could of the motions of a wind-mill. 
Men have often made the assumption in question without 
being aware of it — have affirmed right and wrong of human 
willing without seeing and understanding the conditions of 
this affirmation. But the fact is, that in all cases and in 
every case the assumption has lain deep in the mind as a 
first truth of reason that men are free in the sense of being 
naturally able to obey God: and this assumption is a neces- 
sary condition of the affirmation that moral character be- 
longs to man. 



LECTURE XLVII. 
MORAL ABILITY AND INABILITY. 

I. What constitutes Moral Inability according to 
Edwards and those who hold with him. . 

II. That their moral inability to obey God con- 
sists IN REAL DISOBEDIENCE AND A NATURAL INABILITY TO 
OBEY. 

III. That this pretended distinction between Nat- 
ural and Moral Inability is nonsensical. 

IV. What constitutes Moral Ability according to 

THIS SCHOOL. 

V. That their Moral Ability to obey God is noth- 
ing else than real obedience, and a natural inability 
to disobey. 

I. What constitutes Moral Inability according to 
Edwards and those who hold with him. 

I examine their views of moral inability, first in order, be- 
cause from their views of moral inability we ascertain more 
clearly what are their views of moral ability. Edwards re- 
gards moral ability and inability as identical with moral ne- 
cessity. Concerning moral necessity he' says, Vol. ii, pp. 
32, 33, "And sometimes by moral necessity is meant that 
necessity of connection and consequence which arises from 
such moral causes as the strength of inclination or motives 
and the connection which there is in many cases between 
these and such certain volitions and actions. And it is in this 
sense that I shall use the phrase moral necessity in the follow- 
ing discourse. By natural necessity as applied to men I mean 
such necessity as men are under through the force of natural 
causes, as distinguished from what are called moral causes, 
such as habits and dispositions of the heart, and moral motives 
and inducements. Thus men placed in certain circumstan- 
ces are the subjects of particular sensations by necessity. 
They feel pain when their bodies are wounded; they see the 



< 



MORAL ABILITY. 21 

objects presented before them in a clear light when their eyes 
are open: so they assent to the truth of certain propositions 
as soon as the terms are understood; as that two and two 
make four, that black is not white, that two parallel lines 
can never cross one another ; so by a natural necessity men's 
bodies move downwards when there is nothing to support them. 
But here several things may be noted concerning these two 
kinds of necessity. 1. Moral necessity may be as absolute 
as natural necessity. That is, the effect may be as perfectly 
connected with its moral cause, as a natural effect is with its 
natural cause. Whether the will is in every case necessarily 
determined by the strongest motive., or whether the will ever 
makes any resistance to such a motive, or can ever oppose the 
strongest present intention or not ; if that matter should be 
controverted, yet I suppose none will deny, but that, in some 
cases a previous bias and inclination or the motive presented 
may be so powerful that the act of the will may be certainly 
and indissolubly connected therewith. When motives or pre- 
vious bias are very strong, all will allow that there is some 
difficulty \u going against them. And if they were yet strong- 
er, the difficulty would be still greater. And, therefore, if 
more were still added to their strength to a certain degree, it 
would make the difficulty so great that it would be wholly im- 
possible to surmount it, for this plain reason, because whatever 
power men may be supposed to have to surmount difficulties, 
vet that power is not infinite, and so goes not beyond certain 
limits. If a certain man can surmount ten degrees of diffi- 
culty of this kind, with twenty degrees of strength because 
the degrees of strength are beyond the degrees of difficulty, 
yet if the difficulty be increased to thirty or an hundred or to 
a thousand degrees, and his strength not also increased, his 
strength will be wholly insufficient to surmount the difficulty. 
As therefore it must be allowed that there may be such a thing 
as a sure and perfect connection between moral causes and ef. 
fects ; so this only is what I call by the name of moral ne- 
cessity." Page 35, he says : M What has been said of natu 
ral and moral necessity may serve to explain what is intended 
by natural and moral inability. We are said to be naturally 
unable to do a thing when we can not do it if we will, be- 
cause of some impeding defect or obstacle that is extrinsic to 
the will, either in the faculty of understanding, constitution 
of body, or external objects. Moral inability consists not in 
any of these things, but either in a w r ant of inclination ; or 
the want of sufficient motives in view, to induce and excite 

\ 



22 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

the act of the will, or the strength of apparent motives to the 
contrary. Or both these may be resolved into one, and it 
may be said in one word that moral inability consists in the 
opposition or want of inclination. For when a person is wi- 
able to will or choose such a thing, through a defect of motives or 
prevalence, of contrary motives, it is the same thing as his being 
unable through the want of an inclination, or the prevalence 
of a contrary inclination in such circumstances and under the 
influence of such views.*' 

From these quotations, and much more that might be quo- 
ted to the same purpose, it is plain that Edwards, as the rep- 
resentative of his school, holds moral inability to consist ei- 
ther in an existing choice or attitude of the will opposed to 
that which is required by the law of God ; which inclination 
or choice is necessitated by motives in view of the mind; or in 
the absence of such motives as are necessary to cause or necessi- 
tate the state of choice required by the moral law, or to overcome 
an opposing choice. Indeed he holds these two to be identi- 
cal. Observe, his words are, "Or these may be resolved into 
one, and it may be said in one word that moral inability con- 
sists in opposition or want of inclination. For when a person 
is unable to will or choose such aching, through a defect of 
motives, it is the same thing as his being unable through the 
want of an inclination, or the prevalence of a contrary incli- 
nation, in such circumstances and under the influence of such 
views,*" that is, in ths presence of such motives. If there 
is a present prevalent contrary inclination, it is, according to 
him: 1. Because there are present certain reasons that neces- 
sitate this contrary inclination, and 2. Because there are not 
sufficient motives present to the mind to overcome these oppo- 
sing motives and inclination, and to necessitate the will to de- 
termine or choose in the direction of the law of God. By in- 
clination Edwards means choice or volition as is abundantly 
evident from what he all along says in this connection. This 
no one will deny who is at all familiar with his writings. 

It was the object of the treatise from which the above 
quotations have been made to maintain that the choice inva- 
riably is as the greatest apparent good is. And by the great- 
est apparent good he means a sense of the most agreeable. By 
which he means, as he says, that the sense of the most agree- 
able and choice or volition are identical. Vol. ii, page 20, he 
says : Li And therefore it must be true in some sense, that the 
will always is as the greatest apparent good is." " It must be 
observed in what sense I use the term l good,' namely, as of 



MORAL ABILITY. n ». - 23 

the same import with agreeable. To appear good to the 
mind as I use the phrase is the same as to appeal' agreeable or 
seem pleasing to the mind," Again, pp. 21 and 22, he says: 
•• I have rather chosen to express myself thus that the will 
always is as the greatest apparent good is, or as what appears 
most agreeable, than to say that the will is determined by the 
greatest apparent good, or by what seems^most agreeable, be- 
cause an appearing most agreeable to the mind and the mind's 
preferring, seem scarcely distinct. If strict propriety of 
speech be insisted on, it may more properly be said that the 
voluntary action which is the immediate consequence of the 
mind's choice is determined by that which appears most agree- 
able, than the choice itself." Thus it appears that the sense 
of the most agreeable and choice or volition, according to 
Edwards, are the same things. Indeed, Edwards throughout 
confounds desire and volition, making them the same thing. 
Edwards regarded the mind as possessing but two primary 
faculties, the wall and the understanding. He confounded all 
the states of the sensibility with acts of will. The strongest 
desire is with him always identical with volition or choice, and 
not merely that which determines choice. When there is a 
want of inclination, or desire or the sense of the most agree- 
able, there is a moral inability according to the Edwardean phi- 
losophy. This want of the strongest desire, inclination or sense 
of the most agreeable, is always owing, 1. To the presence 
of such motives as to necessitate an opposite desire, choice, 
&c, and, 2. To the want of such objective motives as shall 
awaken this required desire, or necessitate this inclination or 
sense of the most agreeable. In other words, when volition or 
choice, in consistency with the law of God, does not exist, it 
is, 1. Because an opposite choice exists, and is necessitated by 
the presence of some motive, and, 2. For want of sufficiently 
strong objective motives to necessitate the required choice or vo- 
lition. Let it be distinctly understood and remembered that Ed- 
wards held that motive and not the agent is the cause of all ac- 
tions of the will. Will, with him, is always determined in its 
choice, by motives as really as physical effects are produced 
by their causes. The difference with him in the connection of 
moral and physical causes and effects "lies not in the nature 
of the connection but in the terms connected." 

; - That every act of the will has some cause, and conse- 
quently (by what has already been proved) has a necessary 
connection with its cause, and so is necessary by a necessity 
of connection and consequence, is evident by this, that every 



Z\ SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

act of the will whatsoever is excited by some motive ; which 
is manifest, because, if the mind, in willing after the manner 
it does, is excited by no motive or inducement, then it has no 
end which it proposes to itself, or pursues in so doing; it aims 
at nothing, and seeks nothing. And if it seeks nothing, then 
it does not go after any thing, or exert any inclination or pre- 
ference towards any thing. Which brings the matter to a 
contradiction ; because for the mind to will something, and 
for it to go after something by an act of preference and incli- 
nation are the same thing. 

-But if e\ery act of the will is excited by a motive, then 
that motive is the cause of the act. If the acts of the will 
are excited by motives, then motives are the causes of their 
being excited ; or, which is the same thing, the cause of their 
existence. And if so, the existence of the acts of the will is 
properly the effect of their motives. Motives do nothing, as 
motives or inducements, but by their influence ; and so much 
as is done by their influence is the effect of them. For that 
is the notion of an effect; something that is brought to pass 
by the influence of something else. 

4 * And if volitions are properly the effects of their motives, 
then they are necessarily connected with their motives. Every 
effect and event being, as was proved before, necessarily con- 
nected with that which is the proper ground and reason of its 
existence. Thus it is manifest, that volition is necessary, and 
is not from any self-determining power in the will." — Vol. ii. 
pp. 86, 87. 

Moral inability, then, according to this school consists in 
a want of inclination, desire, or sense of the most agreeable, 
or the strength of an opposite desire or sense of the most 
agreeable. This want of inclination, &c, or this opposing 
inclination, &c, are identical with an opposing choice or vo- 
lition. This opposing choice or inclination, or this want of 
the required choice, inclination or sense of the most agreeable is 
owing.according to Edwards, l.To the presence of such motives 
as to necessitate the opposing choice ; and, 2. To the ab- 
sence of sufficient motives to beget or necessitate them. Here 
then we have the philosophy of this school. The will or agent is 
unable to choose as God requires in all cases when, 1. There 
are present such motives as to necessitate an opposite choice, 
and, *2. When there is not such a motive or such motives in 
the view of the mind as to determine or necessitate the required 
choice or volition, that is, to awaken a desire, or to create an in- 
clination or sense of the agreeable stronger than any existing 



MORAL ABILITY. 25 

and opposing desire, inclination, or sense of agreeable. This 
is the moral inability of the Edwardeans. 

II. Their moral Inability to obey God consists in 

REAL DISOBEDIENCE AND A NATURAL INABILITY TO OBEY. 

1. If we understand Edwardeans to mean that moral ina- 
bility consists, 

[1.] In the presence of such motives as to necessitate an op- 
posite choice; and, 

['2.] In the want or absence of sufficient motives to necessi- 
tate choice or volition, or which is the same thing, a sense of 
the most agreeable, or an inclination, then their moral in- 
ability is a proper natural inability. 

Edwards says he a calls it a moral inability because it is 
an inability of will" But by his own showing, the will is the 
only executive faculty. Whatever a man can do at all he can 
accomplish by willing, and whatever he can not accomplish 
by willing, he can not accomplish at all. An inability to will 
then must be a natural inability. 

We are by nature unable to do what we are unable to will 
to do. Besides, according to Edwards, moral obligation re- 
spects strictly only acts of will, and willing is the doing that 
is prohibited or required by the moral law. To be unable to 
will then, is to be unable to do. To be unable to will as God 
requires, is to be unable to do what He requires, and this sure- 
ly is a proper and the only proper natural inability. 

2. But if we are to understand this school as maintaining 
that moral inability to obey God consists in a want of the 
inclination, choice, desire, or sense of the most agreeable that 
God requires, or in an inclination or existing choice, volition, 
or sense of the most agreeable, which is opposed to the re- 
quirement of God, this surely, is really identical with disobe- 
dience, and their moral inability to obey consists in disobedi- 
ence. For, be it distinctly remembered, that Edwards holds 
as we have seen, that obedience and disobedience properly 
speaking, can be predicated only of acts of will. If the re- 
quired state of the will exists, there is obedience. If it does 
not exist, there is disobedience. Therefore by his own ad- 
mission and express holding, if by moral inability we are to 
understand a state of the will not conformed, or, which is the 
same thing, opposed to the law and will of God, this moral in- 
ability is nothing else than disobedience to God. A moral 
inability to obey is identical with disobedience. It is not 

3 



m 



26 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

merely the cause of future or present disobedience, but really 
constitutes the whole of present disobedience. 

3. But suppose that we understand his moral inability to 
consist both in the want of an inclination, choice, volition, 
<fcc, or in the existence of an opposing state of the will, and 
also, 

[I.] In the presence of such motives as to necessitate an 
opposite choice, and, 

[2.] In the want of sufficient motives to overcome the op- 
posing state and necessitate the required choice, volition, &c, 
then his views stand thus: Moral Inability to choose as God 
commands consists in the want of this choice, or in the exist- 
ence of an opposite choice, which want of choice, or which is 
the same thing with him, which opposite choice is caused. 

[1.] By the presence of such motives as to necessitate the 
opposite choice, and, 

[2.] By the absence of such motives as would necessitate the 
required choice. 

Understand him which way you will, his moral inability is 
real disobedience and is in the highest sense a proper natural 
inability to obey. The cause of choice or volition he always 
seeks, and thinks or assumes that he rinds in the object or 
motive, and never for once ascribes it to the sovereignty or 
freedom of the agent. Choice or volition is an event and 
must have some cause. He assumed that the objective motive 
was the cause, when, as consciousness testifies, the agent is 
himself the cause. Here is the great error of Edwards. 

Edwards assumed that no agent whatever, not even God 
himself, possesses a power of self-determination. That 
^lie will of God and of all moral agents is determined, 
not by themselves, but by an objective motive. If they will 
in one direction or another, it is not from any free and sove- 
reign self-determination in view of motives, but because the 
motives or inducements present to the mind, inevitably pro- 
duce or necessitate the sense of the most agreeable, or choice. 

If this is not fatalism or natural necessity, what is? 

III. This pretended distinction between naturae 

AND MORAL INABILITY IS NONSENSICAL. 

What does it amount to? Why this: 

1. This natural inability is an inability to do as we will, or 
to execute our volitions. 

2. This moral inability is an inability to will. 



MORAL ABILITY. 27 

3. This moral inability is the only natural inability that 
has or can have any thing to do with duty or with morality 
and religion; or, as has been shown, 

4. It consists in disobedience itself. Present moral inabil- 
ity to obey is identical with present disobedience, with a nat- 
ural inability to obey ! 

It is amazing to see how so great and good a man could in- 
volve himself in a metaphysical fog and bewilder himself and 
his readers insomuch that such an absolutely senseless distinc- 
tion as the one now under consideration, should pass into the 
current phraseology, philosophy, and theology of the church, 
and a score of theological dogmas be built upon the assump- 
tion of its truth. Who does not know that this nonsensical dis- 
tinction has been in the mouth of the Edwardean school of 
theologians, from Edward's day to the present? Both saints 
and sinners have been bewildered, and, I must say, abused 
by it. Men have been told that they are as really unable 
to will as God directs, as they were to create themselves, and 
when it is replied that this inability excuses the sinner, we 
are directly silenced by the assertion that this is only a mor- 
al inability, or an inability of will, and therefore that it is so 
far from excusing the sinner, that it constitutes the very 
ground, and substance, and whole of his guilt. Indeed! 
Men are under moral obligation only to will as God directs. 
But an inability thus to will consisting in the absence of such 
motives as would necessitate the required choice, or the pres- 
ence of such motives as to necessitate an opposite choice, is a 
moral inability, and really constitutes the sinner worthy of an 
"exceeding great and eternal weight" of damnation! Ridic- 
ulous! Edwards I revere; his blunders I deplore. I speak 
thus of this Treatise on the Will because, while it abounds 
with unwarrantable assumptions, distinctions without a differ- 
ence, and metaphysical subtleties, it has been adopted as 
the text book of a multitude of what are called Calvinistic 
divines for scores of years. It has bewildered the head, and 
greatly embarassed the heart and the action of the church of 
God. It is time, high time that its errors should be exposed 
and so "shown up" that such phraseology should be laid aside, 
and the ideas which these words represent should cease to be 
entertained. 

IV. What constitutes moral ability according to 

THIS SCHOOL. 

It is of course the opposite of moral inability. 



28 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



Moral ability according to them, consists in willingness 
with the cause of it. That is, moral ability to obey God 
consists in that inclination, desire, choice, volition, or sense 
of the most agreeable which God requires together with its 
cause. Or it consists in the presence of such motives as do 
actually necessitate the above named state or determination 
of the will. Or more strictly it consists in this state caused 
by the presence of these motives. 

This is as exact a statement of their views as I can make. 

According to this, a man is morally able to do, as he does. 
and is necessitated to do, or, he is morally able to will as he 
does will, and as he can not help willing. 

He is morally able to will in this manner simply and only 
because he is caused thus to will by the presence of such 
motives as are, according to them, " indissolubly connected''' 
with such willing by a law of nature and necessity. But 
this conducts us to the conclusion, 

V. That their moral ability to obey God is noth- 
ing ELSE THAN REAL OBEDIENCE, AND A NATURAL INABILITY 
TO DISOBEY. 

Strictly this moral ability includes both the state of will re- 
quired by the law of God and also the cause of this state, 
to wit, the presence of such motives as necessitate the incli- 
nation, choice, volition or sense of the most agreeable, that 
God requires. 

The agent is able thus to will because he is caused thus to 
will. Or more strictly, his ability and his inclination or 
willing are identical. Or still further, according to Edwards, 
his moral ability to thus will and his thus willing and the 
presence of the motives that cause this willing are identical. 
This is a sublime discovery in philosophy; a most transcend- 
ental speculation! I would not treat these notions as ridicu- 
lous, were they not truly so, or if I could treat them in any 
other manner and still do them any thing like justice. If, 
where the theory is plainly stated, it appears ridiculous, the 
fault is not in me, but in the theory itself. I know it is try- 
ing to you, as it is to me to connect any thing ridiculous with 
so great and so revered a name as that of President Edwards. 
But if a blunder of his has entailed perplexity and error on 
the church, surely his great and good soul would now thank 
the hand that should blot out the error from under heaven. 

Thus, when closely examined, this long established and 
venerated fog-bank vanishes away; and this famed distinc- 
tion between moral and natural ability and inability, is found 
to be " a thing of nought." 



LECTURE XLVIII. 

INABILITY. 

There are yet other forms of the doctrine of inability 
to be stated and considered before we have done with this 
subject. In the consideration of the one before me I must, 

I. State what I consider to be the fundamental er- 
ror of Edwards and his school on the subject of abil- 
ity. 

II. State the philosophy of the scheme of inability 

WHICH WE ARE ABOUT TO CONSIDER. 

III. Consider its claims. 

I. I AM TO STATE WHAT I CONSIDER TO BE THE FUNDA- 
MENTAL error of Edwards and his school upon the sub- 
ject OF ABILITY. 

Edwards adopted the Lockean philosophy. He regarded 
the mind as possessing but two primary faculties, the under- 
standing and the will. He considered all the desires, emo- 
tions, affections, appetites, and passions as voluntary, and 
as really consisting in acts of will. This confounding of the 
states of the sensibility with acts of the will I regard as the 
fundamental error of his whole system of philosophy so far 
as it respects the liberty of the will or the doctrine of abil- 
ity. Being conscious that the emotions, which he calls affec- 
tions, the desires, the appetites and passions, were so cor- 
related to their appropriate objects, that they are excited 
by the presence or contemplation of them, and assuming 
them to be voluntary states of mind, or actions of the will, 
he very naturally, and with this assumption, necessarily and 
justly concluded that the will was governed or decided by 
the objective motive. Assuming as he did that the mind has 
but two faculties, understanding and will, and that every 
state of feeling and of mind that did not belong to the un- 
derstanding, must be a voluntary state or act of will, and 
being conscious that his feelings, desires, affections, appetites 
and passions, were excited by the contemplation of their 
correlated objects, he could consistently come to no other 



30 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY* 

conclusion than that the will is determined by motives, and 
that choice always is as the most agreeable is. 

Had he not sat down to write with the assumption of the 
Lockean school of philosophy in his mind, his Treatise on 
the Will, in any thing like its present form, could never have 
seen the light. But assuming the truth of that philosophy, a 
mind like his could arrive at no other conclusions than he did. 
He took upon trust or assumed without inquiry an error 
that vitiated his whole system, and gave birth to that inju- 
rious monstrosity and misnomer, " Edwards on the Freedom 
of the Will." 

He justly held that moral law legislates and can strictly 
legislate only over acts of will and those acts that are under 
the control of the will. This he, with his mental develop- 
ment, could not deny, nor think of denying. Had he but 
given or assumed a correct definition of the will and excluded 
from its acts the wholly involuntary states of the sensibility, 
he never could have asserted that the will is always and ne- 
cessarily determined by the objective motive. 

Assuming the philosophy of Locke, and being conscious 
that the states of his sensibility, which he called' acts of will, 
were controlled or excited by motives or by the consideration 
of their correlated objects, his great soul labored to bring 
about a reconciliation between the justice of (Sod and this 
real though not so called slavery of the human will. This 
led him to adopt the distinction which we have examined be- 
tween a moral and a natural inability. Thus, as a theolo- 
gian, he committed a capital error in suffering himself to take 
upon trust another man's philosophy. Happy is the man 
who takes the trouble to examine for himself whatever is es- 
sential to his system of opinion and belief. 

II. I AM TO STATE THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE SCHEME OF 
INABILITY WHICH WE ARE ABOUT TO CONSIDER* 

1. This philosophy properly distinguishes between the 
will and the sensibility. It regards the mind as possessing 
three primary departments, powers, or susceptibilities, the in- 
tellect, the sensibility and the will. It does not always call 
these departments or susceptibilities by these names, but if 
I understand them, the abettors of this philosophy hold to 
their existence, by whatever name they may call them. 

2. This philosophy also holds that the states of the intel- 
lect and of the sensibility are passive and involuntary. 



INABILITY. 31 

3. It holds that freedom of will is a condition of moral 
agency. 

4. It also teaches that the will is free and consequently 
that man is a free moral agent. 

5. It teaches that the will controls the outward life and 
the attention of the intellect, directly, and many of the emo- 
tions, desires, affections, appetites, and passions, or many 
states of the sensibility, indirectly. 

6. It teaches that men have ability to obey God so far 
forth as acts of will are concerned, and also so far as those 
acts and states of mind are concerned that are under the 
direct or indirect control of the will. 

7. But they hold that moral obligation may, and in the case 
of man at least, does extend beyond moral agency and be- 
yond the sphere of ability; that ability or freedom of will 
is essential to moral agency, but that freedom of will or moral 
agency, does not limit moral obligation; that moral agency 
and moral obligation are not co-extensive; consequently that 
moral obligation is not limited by ability or by moral 
agency. 

8. This philosophy asserts that moral obligation extends 
to those states of mind that lie wholly beyond or with- 
out the sphere or control of the will; that it extends not 
merely to voluntary acts and states, together with all acts 
and states that come within the direct or indirect control of 
the will, but, as was said, it insists that those mental states 
that lie wholly beyond the will's direct or indirect control, 
come within the pale of moral legislation and obligation; and 
that therefore obligation is not limited by ability. 

9. This philosophy seems to have been invented to reconcile 
the doctrine of original sin in the sense of a sinful nature or 
of constitutional moral depravity with moral obligation. As- 
suming that original sin in this sense is a doctrine of divine 
revelation, it takes the bold and uncompromising ground al- 
ready stated, namely, that moral obligation is not merely co- 
extensive with moral agency and ability, but extends beyond 
both into the region of those mental states that lie entirely 
without the will's direct or indirect control. 

10. This bold assertion the abettors of this philosophy 
attempt to support by an appeal to the necessary convictions 
of men and to the authority of the Bible. They allege that 
the instinctive judgments of men as well as the Bible every- 
where assume and affirm moral obligation and moral charac- 
ter of the class of mental states in question. 



6*4. SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

II. They admit that a physical inability is a bar to or 
inconsistent with moral obligation; but they of course deny 
that the inability to which they hold, is physical. 

III. This brings us to a brief consideration of the 

CLAIMS OF THIS PHILOSOPHY OF INABILITY. 

k It is based upon d.petitio principiis, or a begging of the 
question. It assumes that the instinctive or irresistible and 
universal judgments of men, together with the Bible, assert and 
assume that moral obligation and moral character extend to 
the states of mind in question. It is admitted that the teach- 
ings of the Bible are to be relied upon. It is also admitted 
that the first truths of reason, or what this philosophy calls 
the instinctive and necessary judgments of all men, must be 
true. But it is not admitted that the assertion in question is 
a doctrine of the Bible or a first truth of reason. On the con- 
trary both are denied. It is denied, at least by me, that either 
reason or divine revelation affirms moral obligation or moral 
character of any state of mind that lies wholly beyond both 
the direct and the indirect control of the will. Now this phi- 
losophy must not be allowed to beg the question in debate. 
Let it be shown, if it can be, that the alleged truth is either a 
doctrine of the Bible or a first truth of reason. Both reason 
and revelation do assert and assume that moral obligation and 
moral character extend to acts of will and to all those outward 
acts or mental states that lie within its direct or indirect con- 
trol. "But further these deponents say not." Men are 
conscious of moral obligation in respect to these acts and 
states of mind, and of guilt when they fail in these respects 
to comply with moral obligation. But who ever blamed him- 
self for pain, when, without his fault, he received a blow, or 
was seized with the tooth ache, or a fit of bilious cholic? 

2. Let us inquire into the nature of this inability. Ob- 
serve, it is admitted by this school that a physical inability is 
inconsistent with moral obligation — in other words, that physi- 
cal ability is a condition of moral obligation. But what is 
a physical inability? The primary definition of the adjective 
physical, given by Webster, is, "pertaining to nature, or natu- 
ral objects." A physical inability then, in the primary sense 
of the term physical, is an inability of nature. It may be either 
a material or a mental inability, that is, it may be either an 
inability of body or mind. It is admitted by the school whose 
views we are canvassing, that all human causality or ability 
resides in the will, and therefore that there is a proper ina- 



INABILITY. 33 

bility of nature to perform any thing that does not come with- 
in the sphere of the direct or indirect causality of or control of 
the will. It is plain, therefore, that the inability for which 
they contend must be a proper natural inability, or inability 
of nature. This they fully admit and maintain. But this 
they do not call a physical inability. But why do they not? 
Why simply because it would, by their own admissions, over- 
throw their favorite position. They seem to assume that a 
physical inability must be a material inability. But where is 
the authority for such an assumption? There is no authority 
for it. A proper inability of nature must be a physical ina- 
bility, as opposed to moral inability, or there is no meaning 
in language. It matters not at all whether the inability be- 
longs to the material organism or to the mind. If it be con- 
stitutional and properly an inability of nature, it is nonsense 
to deny that this is a physical inability, or to maintain that it 
can be consistent with moral obligation. It is in vain to reply 
that this inability, though a real inability of nature, is not 
physical but moral, because a sinful inability. This is an- 
other begging of the question. 

The school whose views I am examining maintain, that this 
inability is founded in the first sin of Adam, His first sin 
plunged himself and his posterity, descending from him by a 
natural law, into a total inability of nature to render any obe- 
dience to God. This first sin of Adam entailed a nature on 
all his posterity u wholly sinful in every faculty and part of 
soul and body." This constitutional sinfulness that belongs 
to every faculty and part of soul and body, constitutes the 
inability of which we are treating. But mark, it is not physi- 
cal inability because it is a sinful inability ! Important theo- 
logical distinction! — as truly wonderful, surely, as any of the 
subtleties of the Jesuits. But if this inability is sinful, it is 
important to inquire, Whose sin is it? Who is to blame for 
it? Why to be sure, we are told that it is the sin of him upon 
whom it is thus entailed by the natural law of descent from 
parent to child without his knowledge or consent. This sin- 
fulness of nature, entirely irrespective of and previous to any 
actual transgression, renders its possessor worthy of and expo- 
sed to the wrath and curse of God forever. This sinfulness, 
observe, is transmitted by a natural or physical law from 
Adam, but it is not a physical inability ! It is something that 
inheres in, and belongs to every faculty and part of soul and 
body. It is transmitted by a physical law from parent to 
child. It is, therefore, and must be a physical thing. But 



34 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

yet, we are told, that it cannot be a physical inability, because 
first, it is sinful or sin itself, and secondly, because a physi- 
cal inability is a bar to, or inconsistent with moral obligation. 
Here, then, we have their reasons for not admitting this to 
be a physical inability. It would in this case render moral 
obligation an impossibility; and besides, if a bar to moral 
obligation, it could not be sinful. But it is sinful, it is said, 
therefore it can not be physical. But how do we know that 
it is sinful? Why, we are told, that the instinctive judgments 
of men and the Bible, every where affirm and assume it. We 
are told that both the instinctive judgments of men and the 
Bible affirm and assume both the inability in question and 
the sinfulness of it; "that we ought to be able, but are not;" 
that is, that we are so much to blame for this inability of 
nature entailed upon us without our knowledge or consent 
by a physical necessity, as to deserve the wrath and curse of 
God forever. We are under a moral obligation not to have 
this sinful nature. We deserve damnation for having it. To 
be s*ure, we are entirely unable to put it away, and had no 
agency whatever in its existence. But what of that? We 
are told that u moral obligation is not limited by ability ;" that 
our being as unable to change our nature as we are to cre- 
ate a world, is no reason why we should not be under obliga- 
tion to do it, since " moral obligation does not imply ability 
of any kind to do what we are under obligation to do!" **** 
I was about to expose the folly and absurdity of these asser- 
tions, but hush ! It is not allowable, we are told, to reason 
on this subject. We shall deceive ourselves if we listen to 
the w miserable logic of our understandings." We must fall 
back then upon the intuitive affirmations of reason and the 
Bible. Here, then, we are willing to lodge our appeal. The 
Bible defines sin to be a transgression of the law. What 
law have we violated in inheriting this nature? What law 
requires us to have a different nature from that which we 
possess? Does reason affirm that we are deserving of the 
wrath and curse of God forever for inheriting from Adam a 
sinful nature. 

What law of reason have we transgressed in inheriting 
this nature? Reason can not condemn us unless we have 
violated some law which it can recognize as such. Reason 
indignantly rebukes such nonsense. Does the Bible hold us 
responsible for impossibilities? Does it require of us what 
we can not do by willing to do it? Nay, verily; but it ex- 
pressly affirms that "if there be first a willing mind, it is ac- 



INABILITY. 35 

cepted according to what a man hath, and not accordin g to 
what he hath not." The plain meaning of this passage is, 
that if one wills as God directs, he has thereby met all his 
obligation; that he has done all that is naturally possible to 
him, and therefore nothing more is required. 

In this passage, the Bible expressly limits obligation by 
ability. This we have repeatedly seen in former lectures. 
The law also, as we have formerly seen, limits obligation by 
ability. It requires only that we should love the Lord with 
all our strength, that is, with all our ability, and our neighbor 
as ourselves. 

Does reason hold us responsible for impossibilities, or 
affirm our obligation to do or be what it is impossible for us 
to do and be? No indeed. Reason never did and never can 
condemn us for our nature, and hold us worthy of the wrath 
and curse of God forever for possessing it. Nothing is more 
shocking and revolting to reason, than such assumptions as 
are made by the philosophy in question. This every man's 
consciousness must testify. 

But is it not true that some, at least, do intelligently con- 
demn themselves for their nature, and adjudge themselves to 
be worthy of the wrath and curse of God forever for its sin- 
fulness! The framers of the Presbyterian Confession of faith 
made this affirmation in words, at least; whether intelligent- 
ly or unintelligently, we are left to inquire. The reason of 
a moral agent condemning himself and adjudging himself 
worthy of the wrath and curse of God forever, for possessing 
a nature entailed on him by a natural law without his knowl- 
edge or consent! This can never be. 

But is it not true, as is affirmed, that men instinctively and 
necessarily affirm their obligation to be able to obey God, 
while they at the same time affirm that they are not able? I 
answer, no. They affirm themselves to be under obligation 
simply and only because deeply in their inward being lies 
the assumption that they are able to comply with the require- 
ments of God. 

They are conscious of ability to will and of power to con- 
trol their outward life directly, and the states of the intellect 
and of their sensibility, either directly or indirectly, by will- 
ing. Upon this consciousness they found the affirmation of 
obligation, and of praise and blame worthiness in respect 
to these acts and states of mind. But for the consciousness 
of ability, no affirmation of moral obligation, or of praise, or 
blame worthiness, were possible, 



36 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

But do those who affirm both their inability and their obli- 
gation, deceive themselves? I answer, yes. It is common 
for persons to overlook assumptions that lie, so to speak, at 
the bottom of their minds. This has been noticed in the 
first lecture in this volume, and need not be here repeated. 

It is true indeed that God requires of men, especially un- 
der the Gospel, what they are unable to do directly in their 
own strength. Or more strictly speaking, he requires them 
to lay hold on his strength, or to avail themselves of his 
grace as the condition of being what he requires them to be. 
With strict propriety, it can not be said that in this, or in any 
case he requires directly any more than we are able directly 
to do. The direct requirement in the case under considera- 
tion, is to avail ourselves of, or to lay hold upon his strength. 
This, we have power to do. He requires us to lay hold upon 
his grace and strength, and thereby to rise to a higher 
knowledge of himself, and to a consequent higher state of 
holiness than would be otherwise possible to us. The direct 
requirement is to believe, or to lay hold upon his strength, 
or to receive the Holy Spirit, or Christ, who stands at the 
door, and knocks, and waits for admission. The indirect re- 
quirement is to rise to a degree of knowledge of God and to 
spiritual attainments that are impossible to us in our own 
strength. We have ability to obey the direct command di- 
rectly, and the indirect command indirectly. That is, we 
are able by virtue of our nature, together with the proffered 
grace of the Holy Spirit to comply with all the requirements 
of God. So that in fact there is no proper inability about it. 

But are not men often conscious of there being much difhr 
culty in the way of rendering to God all that we affirm our- 
selves under obligation to render? I answer, yes. But, 
strictly speaking, they must admit their direct or indirect 
ability as a condition of affirming their obligation. This diffi- 
culty, arising out of their physical depravity and the power 
of temptation from without, is the foundation or cause of the 
spiritual warfare of which the Scriptures speak and of which 
all christians are conscious. But the Bible abundantly teach- 
es that through grace we are able to be more than conquer- 
ors. If we are able to be this through grace, we are able to 
avail ourselves of the provisions of grace, so that there is no 
proper inability in the case. However great the difficulties 
may be, we are able through Christ to overcome them all. 
This we must and do assume as the condition of the affirma- 
tion of obligation. 



LECTURE XLIX. 
GRACIOUS ABILITY. 

I. I WILL SHOW WHAT THOSE WHO USE THIS PHRASEOL- 
OGY MEAN BY A GRACIOUS ABILITY. 

II. That the doctrine of a gracious ability as held 

BY THOSE WHO MAINTAIN IT IS AN ABSURDITY. 

III. IN WHAT SENSE OF THE TERMS A GRACIOUS ABILITY 
IS POSSIBLE. 

Grace is unmerited favor. Its exercise consists in bestow- 
ing that which without a violation of justice might be with- 
holden. 

Ability to obey God, as we have seen, is the possession of 
power adequate to the performance of that which is required. 
If, then, the terms are used in the proper sense, by a gracious 
ability must be intended that the power which men at pre- 
sent possess to obey the commands of God, is a gift of grace 
relatively to the command; that is, the bestowment of power 
adequate to the performance of the thing required, is a mat- 
ter of grace as opposed to justice. But let us enter upon an 
inquiry into the sense in which this language is used. 

i. i will show what is intended by the term gracious 
Ability. 

1. The abettors of this scheme hold that by the first sin 
of Adam, he, together with all his posterity, lost all natural 
power and all ability of every kind to obey God ; that there- 
fore they were, as a race, wholly unable to obey the mor- 
al law, or to render to God any acceptable service whatever ; 
that is, that they became as a consequence of the sin of Ad- 
am, wholly unable to use the powers of nature in any other 
way than to sin. They were able to sin or to disobey God, 
but entirely unable to obey him; that they did not lose all pow- 
er to act, but that they had power to act only in one direction, 
that is, in opposition to the will and law of God. By a. gra- 
cious ability tney intend, that in consequence of the atone- 
ment of Christ, God has graciously restored to man ability to 
accept the terms of mercy, or to fulfil the conditions of ac- 
ceptance with God — in other words, that by the gracious aid 
4 



68 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

of the Holy Spirit which, upon condition of the atonement, 
God has given to every member of the human family, all men 
are endowed with a gracious ability to obey God. By a gra- 
cious ability is intended, then, that ability or power to obey 
God, which all men now possess, not by virtue of their own 
nature or constitutional powers, but by virtue of the indwel- 
ling and gracious influence of the Holy Spirit, gratuitously 
bestowed upon man, in consequence and upon condition of 
the atonement of Christ. The inability or total loss of natural 
and of all power to obey God into which men as a race fell 
by the first sin of Adam, they call original sin, &c, perhaps 
more strictly, this inability is a consequence of that original sin 
into which man fell; which original sin itself consisted in the 
total corruption of man's whole nature. They hold that by 
the atonement Christ made satisfaction for original sin in such 
a sense that the inability resulting from it is removed, and 
that now men are by gracious aid able to obey and accept the 
terms of salvation. That is, they are able to repent and be- 
lieve the gospel. In short they are able by virtue of this gra- 
cious ability to do their duty or to obey God. This, if I un- 
derstand these theologians, is a fair statement of their doc- 
trine of gracious ability. This brings us, 

II. To SHOW THAT THE DOCTRINE OF A GRACIOUS ABIL- 
ITY AS HELD BY THOSE WHO MAINTAIN IT, IS AN ABSURDITY. 

The question is not whether as a matter of fact men ever 
do obey God without the gracious influence of the Holy Spir- 
it. I hold that they do not. So the fact of the Holy Spirit's 
gracious influence being exerted in every case of human obe- 
dience, is not a question in debate between those who main- 
tain and those who deny the doctrine of gracious ability in 
the sense above explained. The question in debate is not 
whether men do. in any case, use the powers of nature in the 
manner that God requires without the gracious influence of 
the Holy Spirit, but whether they are naturally able so to use 
them. Is the fact that they never do so use them without 
a divine gracious influence to be ascribed to absolute inabili- 
ty, or to the fact that from the beginning they universally and 
voluntarily consecrate their powers to the gratification of self, 
and that, therefore they will not, unless they are divinely 
persuaded, by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit, in 
any case, turn and consecrate their powers to the service of 
God? If this doctrine of natural inability and of gracious 
ability be true, it inevitably follows : 



GRACIOUS ABILITY. 



39 



1. That but for the atonement of Christ, and the conse- 
quent bestowment of a gracious ability, no one of Adam's 
race could ever have been capable of sinning. For in this 
case the whole race would have been and remained wholly 
destitute of any kind or degree of ability to obey God. 
Consequently they could not have been subjects of moral 
government, and of course their actions could have had no 
moral character. It is a first-truth of reason, a truth every 
where and by all men necessarily assumed in their practical 
judgments, that a subject of moral government must be a mor- 
al agent, or that moral agency is a necessary condition of 
any one's being a subject of moral government. And in the 
practical judgment of men, it matters not at all whether a 
being ever was a moral agent, or not. If by any means 
whatever he has ceased to be a moral agent, men universally 
and necessarily assume that it is impossible for him to be a 
subject of moral government any more than a horse can be 
such a subject. Suppose he has by his own fault made him- 
self an idiot or a lunatic; all men know absolutely and in their 
practical judgment assume, that in this state he is not, and can 
not be a subject of moral government. They know that in 
this state, moral character can not justly be predicated of his 
actions. His guilt in thus depriving himself of moral agen- 
cy may be exceeding great, and, as was said on a former oc- 
casion, his guilt in thus depriving himself of moral agency 
may equal the'sum of all the default of which it is the cause, 
but be a moral agent, be under moral obligation in this state 
of dementation or insanity, he can not. This is a first-truth 
of reason, irresistibly and universally assumed by all men. 
If, therefore, Adam's posterity had by their own personal act 
cast away and deprived themselves of all ability to obey God, 
in this state they would have ceased to be moral agents, and 
consequently they could have sinned no more. But the case 
under consideration is not the one just supposed, but is one 
where moral agency was not cast away by the agent himself. 
It is one where moral agency was never and never could have 
been possessed. In the case under consideration, Adam's 
posterity, had he ever had any, would never have possessed any 
power to obey God or to do any thing acceptable to him. 
Consequently they never could have sustained to God the re- 
lation of subjects of his moral government. Of course they 
never could have had moral character ; right or wrong, in a 
moral sense, never could have been predicated of their 
actions. 



40 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



2. It must follow from this doctrine of natural inability 
that mankind lost their freedom or the liberty of the human 
will in the first sin of Adam ; that both Adam himself, and all 
his posterity would and could have sustained to God only the 
relation of necessary as opposed to free agents, had not God 
bestowed upon them a gracious ability. 

We have seen in a former lecture that natural ability to 
obey God and the freedom or liberty of will are identical. 
We have abundantly seen that moral law and moral obligation 
respect strictly, only acts of will; that hence, all obedience to 
God consists strictly in acts of will ; that power to will in 
conformity with the requirements of God, is natural ability 
to obey him ; that freedom or liberty of will consists in the 
power or ability to will in conformity or disconformity to the 
will or law of God ; that, therefore, freedom or liberty of 
will and natural ability to obey God are identical. Thus we 
see that if man lost his natural ability to obey God in the 
first sin of Adam, he lost the freedom of his will, and thence- 
forth must forever have remained a necessary agent but for 
the gracious re-bestowment of ability or freedom of will. 

But that either Adam or his posterity lost their freedom or 
free agency by the first sin of Adam, is not only a sheer, but 
an absurd assumption. To be sure Adam fell into a state of 
total alienation from the law of God, and lapsed into a state 
of supreme selfishness. His posterity have unanimously fol- 
lowed his example. He and they have become dead in tres- 
passes and sins. Now that this death in sin either consists in or 
implies the loss of free agency, is the very thing to be proved 
by them. But this can not be proved. I have so fully dis- 
cussed the subject of human moral depravity or sinfulness on 
a former occasion as to render it unnecessary to enlarge upon 
this subject here. 

3. Again, if it be true, as these theologians affirm, that 
men have only a gracious ability to obey God and that this 
gracious ability consists in the presence and gracious agency 
of the Holy Spirit, it follows that when the Holy Spirit is with- 
drawn from man, he is no longer a free agent, and from that 
moment he is incapable of moral action, and of course can 
sin no more. Hence should he live any number of years af- 
ter this withdrawal, neither sin nor holiness, virtue nor vice, 
praise nor blame worthiness could be predicated of his conduct. 
The same will and must be true of all his future eternity. 

4. If the doctrine in question be true, it follows that from 
the moment of the withdrawal of the gracious influence of 



GRACIOUS ABILITY. 41 

the Holy Spirit, man is no longer a subject of moral obliga- 
tion. It is from that moment absurd and abusive to require 
the performance of any duty of him. Nay to conceive of 
him as being any longer a subject of duty ; to think or speak 
of duty as belonging to him, is as absurd as to think or 
speak of the duty of a mere machine. He has, from the mo- 
ment of the withholding of a gracious ability, ceased to be a 
free and become a necessary agent, having power to act but 
in one direction. Such a being can by no possibility be capable 
of sin or holiness. • Suppose he still possesses power to act con- 
trary to the letter of the law of God: what then? This ac- 
tion can have no moral character, because, act in some way 
he must, and he can act in no other way. It is nonsense to 
affirm that such action can be sinful in the sense of blame- 
worthy. To affirm that it can, is to contradict a first-truth of 
reason. Sinners, then, who have quenched the Holy Spirit, 
and from whom He is wholly withdrawn, are no longer to be 
blamed for their enmity against God, and for all their opposition 
to him. They are, according to this doctrine, as free from 
blame as are the motions of a mere machine. 

5. Again, if the doctrine in question be true, there is no 
reason to believe that the angels that fell from their allegiance 
to God ever sinned but once. If Adam lost his free agency 
by the fall, or by his first sin, there can be no doubt that the 
angels did so too. If a gracious ability had not been be- 
stowed upon Adam, it is certain, according to the doctrine in 
question, that he never could have been the subject of moral 
obligation from the moment of his first sin, and consequently 
could never again have sinned. The same must be true of 
devils. If by their first sin they fell into the condition of 
necessary agents, having lost their free agency, they have 
never sinned since. That is, moral character can not have 
been predicable of their conduct since that event, unless a 
gracious ability has been bestowed upon them. That this has 
been done cannot with even a show of reason be pretended. 
The devils, then, according to this doctrine, are not now to 
blame for all they do to oppose God and to ruin souls. Upon 
the supposition in question, they cannot help it, and you might 
as well blame the winds and the waves for the evil which 
they sometimes do, as blame Satan for what he does. 

6. If this doctrine be true, there is not and never will be any 
sin in hell, for the plain reason that there are no moral agents 
there. They are necessary agents, unless it be true that the 
Holy Spirit and a gracious ability be continued there. This is 

4* 



42 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

not, I believe, contended for by the abettors of this scheme. 
But if they deny to the inhabitants of hell freedom of the will, 
or, which is the same thing, natural ability to obey God, they 
must admit, or be grossly inconsistent, that there is no sin in 
hell, either in men or devils. But is this admission agreea- 
ble either to reason or revelation? I know that the abettors 
of this scheme maintain that God may justly hold both men, from 
whom a gracious ability is withdrawn, and devils, responsible 
for their conduct, because and upon the ground that they 
have destroyed their own ability. But suppose this were true — 
that they had rendered themselves idiots, lunatics, or neces- 
sary as opposed to free agents, could God, justly, could en- 
lightened reason still regard them as moral agents, and as 
morally responsible for their conduct? No, indeed. God 
and reason may justly blame and render them miserable for 
annihilating their freedom or their moral agency, but to hold 
them still responsible for present obedience were absurd. 

7. We have seen that the ability of all men of sane mind lo 
obey God, is necessarily assumed by all men as a first truth 
of reason, and that this assumption is, from the very laws of 
mind, the indispensable condition of the affirmation, or even 
the conception that they are subjects of moral obligation; that 
but for this assumption men could not so much as conceive 
the possibility of moral responsibility, and of praise and blame 
worthiness. If the laws of mind remain unaltered, this is 
and always will be so. In the eternal world, and in hell, men 
and devils must necessarily assume their own freedom or 
ability to obey God, as the condition of their obligation to 
do so, and consequently to their being capable of sin or holi- 
ness. Since revelation informs us that men and devils con- 
tinue to sin in hell, we know that there also it must be assumed 
as a first-truth of reason, that they are free agents, or that 
they have natural ability to obey God. 

8. But that a gracious ability to do duty or to obey God 
is an absurdity, will farther appear if we consider that it is a 
first-truth of reason that moral obligation implies moral agen- 
cy, and that moral agency implies freedom of will ; or in 
other word?, it implies a natural ability to comply with obli- 
gation. This ability is necessarily regarded by the intelli- 
gence as the sine qua non of moral obligation, on the ground 
of natural and immutable justice. A just command always 
implies an ability to obey it. A command to perform a natu- 
ral impossibility would not and could not impose obligation. 
Suppose God should command human beings to fly without 



GRACIOUS ABILITY. 43 

giving them power, could such a command impose moral ob- 
ligation ? No, indeed- But suppose he should give them 
power or promise them power upon the performance of a con- 
dition within their reach, then he might in justice require 
them to fly, and a command to do so would be obligatory. 
But relatively to the requirement, the bestowment would not 
be grace, but justice. Relatively to the results or the. plea- 
sure of flying, the bestowment of power might be gracious. 
That is, it might be grace in God to give me power to fly that 
I might have the pleasure and profit of flying, so that relative- 
ly to the results of flying the giving of power might be re- 
garded as an act of grace. But, if God requires me to fly 
as a matter of duty, he must in justice supply the power or 
ability to fly. This would in justice be a necessary condition 
of the commands, imposing moral obligation. 

Nor would it at all vary the case if I had ever possessed 
wings, and by the abuse of them, had lost the power to 
fly. In this case, considered relatively to the pleasure 
and profit and results of flying, the restoring of the pow- 
er to fly might and w r ould be an act of grace. But if God 
would still command me to fly, he must as a condition of my 
obligation restore the power. It is vain and absurd to say, 
as has been said, that in such a case, although I might lose 
the power of obedience, this can not alter the right of God 
to claim obedience. This assertion proceeds upon the ab- 
surd assumption that the will of God makes or creates law 
instead of merely declaring and enforcing the law of na- 
ture. We have seen in former lectures that the only law or 
rule of action that is or can be obligatory on a moral agent, 
is the law of nature, or just that course of willing and acting, 
which is for the time being, suitable to his nature and relations. 
We have seen that God's will never makes or creates law, that 
it only declares and enforces it. If, therefore, by any means 
whatever, the nature of a moral agent should be so chagned 
that his will is no longer free to act in conformity with or in 
opposition to the law of nature, if God would hold him still 
obligated to obey, he must in justice relatively to his require- 
ment, restore his liberty or ability. Suppose one had by the 
abuse of his intellect lost the use of it, and become a perfect 
idiot, could he by any possibility be still required to under- 
stand and obey God ? Certainly not. So neither could he 
be required to perform any thing else that had become natu- 
rally impossible to him. Viewed relatively to the pleasure 
and results of obedience his restoring power would be an act 



44 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

of grace. Bat viewed relatively to his duty or to God's 
command, the restoring of power to obey is an act of justice 
and not of grace. To call this grace were to abuse lan- 
guage and confound terms. But this brings me to the consid- 
eration of the next question to be discussed at present, namely, 

III. In what sense a gracious ability is possible. 

1. Not, as we have just seen, in the sense that the be- 
stowment of power to render obedience to a command possi- 
ble can be properly a gift of grace. Grace is undeserved fa- 
vor, something not demanded by justice, that which under 
the circumstances, might be withholden without injustice. It 
never can be just in any being to require that which under 
the circumstances is impossible. As has been said, relatively 
to the requirement and as a condition of its justice, the be- 
stowment of power adequate to the performance of that 
which is commanded, is an unalterable condition of the jus- 
tice of the command. This I say is a first-truth of reason, 
a truth every where by all men necessarily assumed and 
known. A gracious ability to obey a command, is an absurdity 
and an impossibility. 

2. But a gracious ability considered relatively to the advan- 
tages to result from obedience is possible. 

Suppose, for example, that a servant who supports himself 
and his family by his wages, should by his own fault render 
himself unable to labor and to earn his wages. His master 
may justly dismiss him and let him go with his family to the 
poor-house. But in this disabled state his master cannot 
justly exact labor of him. Nor could he do so if he abso- 
lutely owned the servant. Now suppose the master to be 
able to restore to the servant his former strength. If he 
would require service of him, as a condition of the justice of 
this requirement, he must restore his strength so far at least 
as to render obedience possible. This would be mere justice. 
But suppose he restored the ability of the servant to gain 
support for himself and his family by labor. This, viewed rel- 
atively to the good of the servant — to the results of the res- 
toration of his ability to himself and to his family, is a matter 
of grace. Relatively to the good or rights of the master in 
requiring the labor of the servant, the restoration of ability 
to obey is an act of justice. But relatively to the good of 
the servant, and the benefits that result to him from this res- 
toration of ability and making it once more possible for him 



GRACIOUS ABILITY. 45 

to support himself and his family, the giving of ability is 
properly an act of grace. 

Let this be applied to the case under consideration. Sup- 
pose the race of Adam to have lost their free agency by the 
first sin of Adam and thus to have come into a state in which 
holiness and consequent salvation were impossible. Now if 
God would still require obedience of them, he must in jus- 
tice restore their ability. And viewed relatively to his right 
to command, and their duty to obey, this restoration is prop- 
erly a matter of justice. But suppose he would again place 
them in circumstances to render holiness and consequent sal- 
vation possible to them: — viewed relatively to their good and 
profit, this restoration of ability is properly a matter of grace. 

A gracious ability to obey, viewed relatively to the com- 
mand to be obeyed, is impossible and absurd. 

But a gracious ability to be saved, viewed relatively to 
salvation, is possible. 

There is no proof that mankind ever lost their ability to 
obey, either by the first sin of Adam, or by their own sin. 
For this would imply, as we have seen, that they had ceased 
to be free, and had become necessary agents. But if they 
had, and God had restored their ability to obey, all that can 
be justly said in this case, is, that so far as his right to com- 
mand is concerned, the restoration of their ability was an act 
of justice. But so far as the rendering of salvation possible 
to them is concerned, it was an act of grace. 

3. But it is asserted or rather assumed by the defenders of 
this dogma that the Bible teaches the doctrine of a natural 
inability and of a gracious ability in man to obey the com- 
mands of God. I admit indeed that if we interpret Scrip- 
ture without regard to any just rules of interpretation, this 
assumption may find countenance in the word of God, just as 
almost any absurdity whatever may and has done. But a 
moderate share of attention to one of the simplest and most 
universal and most important rules of interpreting language 
whether in or out of the Bible, will strip this absurd dogma 
of the least appearance of support from the word of God. 
The rule to which I refer is this, "that language is always 
to be interpreted in accordance with the subject-matter of 
discourse." 

When used of acts of will, the term "can not" interpreted 
by this rule, can not be understood to mean a proper impossi- 
bility. If I say, I can not take five dollars for my watch, 
when it is offered to me, every one knows that I do not and 



46 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

can not mean to affirm a proper impossibility. So when God 
said to Lot, " Haste thee, for I can do nothing until thou be 
come thither," who ever understood God as affirming a natu- 
ral or any proper impossibility? All that he could have 
meant was, that he was not willing to do any thing until Lot 
was in a place of safety. Just so when the Bible speaks of 
our inability to comply with the commands of God, all that 
can be intended is that we are so unwilling that without 
divine persuasion, we as a matter of fact shall not and will 
not obey. This certainly is ihe sense in which such language 
is used in common life. And in common parlance, we never 
think of such language, when used of acts of will, as mean- 
in any thing more than an unwillingness, a state in which the 
will is strongly committed in an opposite direction. 

When Joshua said to the children of Israel, "Ye can not 
serve the Lord, for he is a holy God," the whole context, as 
well as the nature of the case, shows that he did not mean 
to affirm a natural, nor indeed any kind of impossibility. In 
the same connection, he requires them to serve the Lord and 
leads them to solemnly pledge themselves to serve Him. He 
undoubtedly intended to say that with wicked hearts they 
could not render Him an acceptable service, and therefore 
insisted on their putting away the wickedness of their hearts 
by immediately and voluntarily consecrating themselves to 
the service of the Lord. So it must be in all cases where 
the terms can not and such like expressions (which, when 
applied to muscular action, would imply a proper impossibili- 
ty,) are used, in reference to acts of will; they can not, 
when thus used be understood as implying a proper impos- 
sibility without doing violence to every sober rule of in- 
terpreting language. What would be thought of a judge 
or an advocate at the bar of an earthly tribunal who should 
interpret the language of a witness without any regard to the 
rule, M that language is to be understood according to the sub- 
ject-matter of discourse." Should an advocate in his argu- 
ment to the court or jury, attempt to interpret the language 
of a witness in a manner that made can not^ when spoken of 
an act of will mean a proper impossibility, the judge would 
soon rebuke his stupidity and remind him that he must not 
talk nonsense in a court of justice; and might possibly add, 
that such nonsensical assertions were allowable only in the 
pulpit. I say again, that it is an utter abuse and perversion 
of the laws of language so to interpret the language of the 
Bible as to make it teach a proper inability in man to will as 



GRACIOUS ABILITY. 



47 



God directs. The essence of obedience to God consists in 
willing. Language, then, that is used in reference to obedi- 
ence must, when properly understood, be interpreted in ac- 
cordance with the subject-matter of discourse. Consequent- 
ly when used in reference to acts of will such expressions as 
can not and the like, can absolutely mean nothing more than 
a choice in an opposite direction. But it may be asked, 
Is there no grace in all that is done by the Holy Spirit to 
make man wise unto salvation? Yes, indeed, I answer. 
And it is grace and great grace, just because the doctrine of 
a natural inability in man to obey God is not true. It is just 
because man is well able to render obedience and unjustly re- 
fuses to do so, that all the influence that God brings to bear 
upon him to make him willing, is a gift and an influence of 
grace. And the grace is great just in proportion to the sin- 
ner's ability to comply with God's requirements and the 
strength of his voluntary opposition to his duty. If man 
were properly unable to obey, there could be no grace in 
giving him ability to obey when the bcstowment of ability is 
considered relatively to the command. But let man be re- 
garded as free, as possessing natural ability to obey all the 
requirements of God and all his difficulty as consisting in a 
wicked heart, or, which is the same thing, in an unwilling 
ness to obey, then an influence on the part of God de- 
signed and tending to make him willing, is grace indeed. 
But strip man of his freedom, render him naturally unable 
to obey, and you render grace impossible so far as his obliga- 
tion to obedience is concerned. 

But it is urged in support of the dogma of natural inability 
and of a gracious ability that the Bible every where repre- 
sents man as dependent on the gracious influence of the 
Holy Spirit for all holiness and consequently for eternal life. 
I answer, it is admitted that this is the representation of the 
Bible, but the question is, In what sense is he dependent? 
Does his dependence consist in a natural inability to embrace 
the gospel and be saved ? or does it consist in a voluntary 
selfishness — in an. unwillingness to comply with the terms 
of salvation ? Is man dependent on the Holy Spirit to 
give him a proper ability to obey God ? oris he dependent 
only in such a sense that as a matter of fact he will not em- 
brace the gospel unless the Holy Spirit makes him willing ? 
The latter beyond reasonable question. This is the universal 
representation of Scripture. The difficulty to be overcome is 
every where in the Bible represented to be the sinner's un- 



40 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

willingness alone. It can not possibly be any thing else , for 
the willing is the doing required by God. " If there is but a 
willing mind, it is accepted according to what a man hath and 
not according to what he hath not." 

But it is said, if man can be willing of himself, what need of 
divine persuasion or influence to make him willing ? I might 
ask, suppose a man is able but unwilling to pay his debts, 
what need of any influence to make him willing ? Why, di- 
vine influence is needed to make a sinner willing or to induce 
him to will as God directs, just as and for the same reason 
that persuasion, entreaty, argument, or the rod, is needed to 
make our children submit their wills to ours. The fact, there- 
fore that the Bible represents the sinner as in some sense de- 
pendent upon divine influence for a right heart, no more im- 
plies a proper inability in the sinner, than the fact that chil- 
dren are dependent for their good behavior oftentimes upon 
the thorough and timely discipline of their parents, implies a 
proper inability in them to obey their parents without chas- 
tisement. 

The Bible every where and in every way assumes the free- 
dom of the will. This fact lies out in strong relief upon ev- 
ery page of divine inspiration. But this is only the assump- 
tion necessarily made by the universal intelligence of man. 
The strong language often found in Scripture upon the sub- 
ject of man's inability to obey God, is designed only to rep- 
resent the strength of his voluntary selfishness and enmity 
against God, and never to imply a proper natural inability. 
It is, therefore, a gross and most injurious perversion of 
Scripture, as well as a contradiction of human reason, to de- 
ny the natural ability, or, which is the same thing, the natural 
free agency of man, and to maintain a proper natural inabili- 
ty to obey God and the absurd dogma of a gracious ability 
to do our duty. 

REMARKS. 

1. The question of ability is one of great practical impor- 
tance. To deny the ability of man to obey the command- 
ments of God, is to represent God as a hard master, as re- 
quiring a natural impossibility of his creatures on pain of 
eternal damnation. This necessarily begets in the mind that 
believes it hard thoughts of God. The intelligence can not 
be satisfied with the justice of such a requisition. In fact, so 
far as this error gets possession of the mind and gains ascent 



GRACIOUS ABILITY. 49 

just so far it naturally and necessarily excuses itself for diso- 
bedience or for not complying with the commandments of 
God. 

2. The moral inability of Edwards is a real natural inabil* 
ity, and so it has been understood by sinners and professors of 
religion. When I entered the ministry, I found the persua- 
sion of an absolute inability on the part of sinners to repent 
and believe the gospel almost universal. When I urged sin- 
ners and professors of religion to do their duty without de- 
lay, I frequently met with stern opposition from sinners^ 
professors of religion, and ministers. They desired me to 
say to sinners that they could not repent and that they must 
wait God's, time, that is, for God to help them. Jt was common 
for the classes of persons just named to ask me if I thought sin- 
ners could be christians whenever they pleased, and whether 
I thought that any class of persons could repent, believe, and 
obey God without the strivings and new-creating power of 
the Holy Spirit. The church was almost universally settled 
down in the belief of a physical moral depravity, and of 
course, in a belief in the necessity of a physical regeneration, 
and also of course in the belief that sinners must wait to be 
regenerated by divine power while they were passive. Pro- 
fessors also must wait to be revived, until God in mysterious 
sovereignty came and revived them. As to revivals of religion 
they were settled down in the belief to a great extent, that 
man had no more agency in producing them than in produ- 
cing showers of rain. To attempt to effect the conversion of 
a sinner, or to promote a revival, was an attempt to take the 
work out of the hands of God, to go to work in your own 
strength, and to set sinners and professors to do so. The vig- 
orous use of means and measures to promote a work of 
grace was regarded by many as impious. It was getting up 
an excitement of animal feeling, and wickedly interfering 
with the prerogative of God. The fact is, that both professors 
of religion and non-professors were settled down upon their 
lees, in carnal security. The abominable dogmas of physical 
moral depravity or a sinful constitution with a consequent 
natural (falsely called moral) inability, and the necessity of a 
physical and passive regeneration, had chilled the heart of the 
church, and lulled sinners into a fatal sleep. This is the nat- 
ural tendency of such doctrines. 

3. Let it be distinctly understood before we close this sub- 
ject that we do not deny, but strenuously maintain, that the 
whole plan of salvation and all the influences, both providen- 

5 



50 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

tial and spiritual, which God exerts in the conversion, sancti- 
fication and salvation of sinners is grace from first to last, and 
that I deny the dogma of a gracious ability because it robs 
God of his glory. It really denies the grace of the gospel. 
The abettors of this scheme, in contending for the grace of 
the gospel, really deny it. What grace can there be, that 
should surprise heaven and earth, and cause "the angels to de- 
sire to look into it," in bestowing ability on those who never 
had any, (and of course who never cast away their ability) to 
obey the requirements of God ? According to them all men 
lost their ability in Adam, and not by their own act. God 
still required obedience of them upon pain of eternal death. 
Now he might, according to this view of the subject, just as 
reasonably command all men on pain of eternal death to fly 
or undo all that Adam had done, or perform any other natu- 
ral impossibility as to command them to be holy, to repent 
and believe the gospel. Now, I ask again, what possible 
grace was there or could there be, in his giving them power 
to obey him ? To have required the obedience without giv- 
ing the power had been infinitely unjust and tyrannical. To 
admit the assumption that men had really lost their ability to 
obey in Adam, and call this bestowment of ability for which 
they contend, grace, is an abuse of language, an absurdity and 
a denial of the true grace of the gospel not to be tolerated. 
I reject the dogma of a gracious ability because it involves a 
denial of the true grace of the gospel. I maintain that the 
gospel with all its influences including the gift of the Holy 
Spirit to convict, convert, and sanctify the soul, is a system of 
grace throughout. But to maintain this, I must also maintain 
that God might justly have required obedience of men with- 
out making these provisions for them. And to maintain the 
justice of God in requiring obedience, I must admit and main- 
tain that obedience was possible to man. But this the abet- 
tors of this scheme deny, and maintain on the contrary that 
notwithstanding men were deprived of all ability, not by their 
act, or consent, but by Adam, long before they were born, 
still God might justly on pain of eternal damnation, require 
them to be holy, and that the giving them ability to obey is a 
matter of infinite grace; not, as they hold, the restoring of a 
power which they had cast away, but the giving of a power 
which they had never possessed. This power or ability 
viewed relatively to the command to obey on pain of eternal 
death a gift of grace ! This baffles and confounds and stul- 
tifies the human intellect. The reason of a moral agent can 



GRACIOUS ABILITY. 



51 



not but reject this dogma. It will in spite of himself assume 
and affirm, the absence of ability being granted, that the be- 
stowment of an ability viewed relatively to the command was 
demanded by justice, and that to call it a gracious ability is 
an abuse of language. 

Let it not be said, then, that we deny the grace of the 
glorious gospel of the blessed God, nor that we deny the re- 
ality and necessity of the influences of the Holy Spirit to 
convert and sanctify the soul, nor that this influence is a gra- 
cious one; for all these we most strenuously maintain. But 
I maintain this upon the ground that men are able to do their 
duty, and that the difficulty does not lie in a proper inability, 
but in a voluntary selfishness, in an unwillingness to obey the 
blessed gospel. I say again that I reject the dogma of a gra- 
cious ability, as I understand its abettors to hold it, not be- 
cause /deny, but solely because it denies the grace of the 
gospel. The denial of ability is really a denial of the possi- 
bility of grace in the affair of man's salvation, I admit the 
ability of man, and hold that he is able, but utterly unwilling 
to obey God. Therefore I consistently hold that all the in- 
fluences exerted by God to make him willing, are of free grace 
abounding through Christ Jesus. 



. 



LECTURE L. 
THE NOTION OF INABILITY- 

PROPER METHOD OF ACCOUNTING FOR IT. 

I have represented ability or the freedom of the wifi 
as a first-truth of reason. I have also defined first-truths of 
reason to be those truths that are necessarily known to all 
moral agents. From these two representations the inquiry 
may naturally arise, how then is it to be accounted for that so 
many men have denied the liberty of the will or abil- 
ity to obey God? That these first-truths of reason are fre- 
quently denied is a notorious fact. A recent writer thinks 
this denial a sufficient refutation of the affirmation that abil- 
ity is a first-truth of reason. It is important that this denial 
should be accounted for. That mankind affirm their ob- 
ligation upon the real though often latent and unperceived 
assumption of ability, there is no reasonable ground of doubt. 
I have said that first-truths of reason are frequently assumed 
and certainly known without being often the direct object of 
thought or attention; and also that these truths are univer- 
sally held in the practical jugdments of men while they some- 
times in theory deny them. They know them to be true and 
in all their practical judgments assume their truth while they 
reason against them, think they prove them untrue, and not 
unfrequently affirm that they are conscious of an opposite 
affirmation. For example, men have denied, in theory, the 
law of causality, while they have at every moment of their 
lives acted upon the assumption of its truth. Others have de- 
nied the freedom of the will, who have every hour of their lives 
assumed and acted and judged upon the assumption that the 
will is free. The same is true of ability, which, in respect 
to the commandments of God, is identical with freedom. 
Men have often denied the ability of man to obey the com- 
mandments of God while they have always in their practical 
judgments of themselves and of others assumed their ability 
in respect to those things that are really commanded by God. 
Now, how is this to be accounted for? 



THE NOTION OF INABILITY, 53 

1. Multitudes have denied the freedom of the will, because 
they have loosely confounded the will with the involuntary 
powers — with the intellect and the sensibility. Locke, as is 
well known, regarded the mind as posssessing but two pri- 
mary faculties, the understanding and the will. President 
Edwards, as was said in a former lecture, followed Locke, 
and regarded all the states of the sensibility as acts of the 
will. Multitudes, nay the great mass of Calvinistic di- 
vines, with their hearers, have held the same views. This 
confounding of the sensibility with the will has been common 
for a long time. Now every body is conscious that the states 
of the sensibility or mere feelings cannot be produced or 
changed by a direct effort to feel thus or thus. Every body 
knows from consciousness that the feelings come and go, wax 
and wane, as motives are presented to excite them. And 
they know also that these feelings are under the law of ne- 
cessity and not of liberty; that is, that necessity is an attri- 
bute of these feelings in such a sense, that under the circum- 
stances, they will exist in spite of ourselves, and that they 
can not be controlled by a direct effort to control them. Every 
body knows that our feelings or the states of our sensibili- 
ty can be controlled only indirectly, that is, by the direction 
of our thoughts. By directing our thoughts to an object calcu- 
lated to excite certain feelings, we know that when the ex- 
citability is not exhausted, feelings correlated to that ob- 
ject will come into play of course and of necessity. So 
when any class of feelings exist, we all know that by divert- 
ing the attention from the object that excites them, they sub- 
side of course, and give place to a class correlated to the new 
object that at present occupies the attention. Now it is very 
manifest how the freedom of the will has come to be denied 
by those who confound the will proper with the sensibility. 
These same persons have always known and assumed that 
the actions of the will proper were free. Their error has con- 
sisted in not distinguishing in theory between the action of 
the proper will and the involuntary states of the sensibility. 
In their practical judgments, and in their conduct, they have 
recognized the distinction which they have failed to recog- 
nize in their speculations and theories. They have every 
hour been exerting their own freedom, have been controlling 
directly their attention and their outward life by the exercise 
of the freedom of their proper will. They have also, by the 
free exercise of the same faculty, been indirectly controlling 
the states of their sensibility. They have all along assumed 
5* 



54 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

the absolute freedom of the will proper, and have always 
acted upon the assumption, or they would not have acted at 
all or even attempted to act. But since they did not in 
theory distinguish between the sensibility and the will proper, 
they denied in theory the freedom of the will. If the actions 
of the will be confounded with desires and emotions, as Presi- 
dent Edwards confounded them, and as has been common, 
the result must be a theoretical denial of the freedom of the 
will. In this way we are to account for the doctrine of ina- 
bility as it has been generally held. It has not been clearly 
understood that moral law legislates directly, and, with strict 
propriety of speech, only over the will proper, and* over the 
involuntary powers only indirectly through the will. It has 
been common to regard the law and the gospel of God as 
directly extending their claims to the involuntary powers and 
states of mind; and as was shown in a former lecture, many 
have regarded, in theory, the law as extending its claims to 
those states that lie wholly beyond either the direct or indi- 
rect control of the will. Now of course, with these views of 
the claims of God, ability is and must be denied. I trust 
we have seen in past lectures, that, strictly and properly 
speaking, the moral law restricts its claims to the actions of 
the will proper, in such a sense that if there be a willing 
mind, it is accepted as obedience; that the moral law and the 
lawgiver legislate over involuntary states only indirectly, that 
is, through the will; and that the whole of virtue, strictly 
speaking, consists in good will or disinterested benevolence. 
Sane minds never practically deny or can deny *he freedom 
of the will proper, or the doctrine of ability, when they make 
the proper discriminations between the will and the sensi- 
bility, and properly regard moral law as legislating directly 
only over the will. It is worthy of all consideration that those 
who have denied ability have almost always confounded the will 
andthe sensibility ; and that those who have denied ability have 
always extended the claims of moral law beyond the pale of 
proper voluntariness; and many of them even beyond the 
limits of either the direct or the indirect control of the will. 
But the inquiry may arise, how it comes to pass that men 
have so extensively entertained the impression that the moral 
law legislates directly over those feelings and over those states 
of mind which they know to be involuntary? I answer that 
this mistake has arisen out of a want of just discrimination 
between the direct and indirect legislation of the law and of 
the law-giver. It is true that men are conscious of being re-, 



THE NOTION OF INABILITY. 55 

sponsible for their feelings and for their outward actions, and 
even for their thoughts. And it is really true that they are 
responsible for them in so far forth as they are under either 
the direct or indirect control of the will. And they know 
that these acts and states of mind are possible to them, that 
is, that they have an indirect ability to produce them. They 
however loosely confound the direct and indirect ability and 
responsibility. The thing required by the law directly and 
presently is benevolence or good will. This is what and all 
that the law strictly presently or directly requires. It indi- 
rectly requires all those outward and inward acts and states 
that are connected directly and indirectly with this required 
act of will by a law of necessity ; that is, that those acts and 
states should follow as soon as by a natural and necessary law 
they will follow from a right action of the will. When these 
feelings and states and acts do not exist, they blame them- 
selves generally with propriety, because the absence of them 
is in fact owing to a want 'of the required act of the will. 
Sometimes, no doubt, they blame themselves unjustly, not con- 
sidering that although the will is right, of which they are 
conscious, the involuntary state or act does not follow because 
of exhaustion, or because of some disturbance in the estab- 
lished and natural connection between the acts of the will 
and its ordinary sequents. When this exhaustion or disturb- 
ance exists, men are apt, loosely and unjustly, to write bitter 
things against themselves. They often do the same in hours 
of temptation when Satan casts his fiery darts at them, lodg- 
ing them in the thoughts and involuntary feelings. The will 
repels them, but they take effect, for the time being, in spite 
of himself in the intellect and sensibility ; blasphemous 
thoughts are suggested to the mind, unkind thoughts of God 
are suggested, and in spite of one's self, these abominable 
thoughts awaken their correlated feelings. The will abhors 
them and struggles to suppress them, but for the time being, 
finds itself unable to do any thing more than to fight and re- 
sist. 

Now it is very common for souls in this state to write the 
most bitter accusations against themselves. But should it 
be hence inferred that they really are as much in fault as they 
assume themselves to be ? No, indeed. But why do ministers, of 
ail schools, unite in telling such tempted souls, You are mis- 
taken, my dear brother or sister, these thoughts and feelings, 
though exercises of your own mind, are not yours in such a 
sense that you are responsible for them. The thoughts are 



5t) SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

suggested by Satan, and the feelings are a necessary conse- 
quence. Your will resists them, and this proves that you are 
unable, for the time being, to avoid them. You are, therefore, 
not responsible for them while you resist them with all the 
power of your will, any more than you would be guilty of 
murder should a giant overpower your strength and use your 
hand against your will to shoot a man. In such cases, it is, 
so far as I know, universally true that all schools admit that 
the tempted soul is not responsible or guilty for those things 
which it can not help. The inability is here allowed to be a 
bar to obligation ; and such souls are justly told by ministers, 
You are mistaken in supposing yourself guilty in this case. 
The like mistake is fallen into when a soul blames itself for 
any state of mind whatever that lies wholly and truly beyond 
the direct or indirect control of the will, and for the same 
reason inability in both cases is alike a bar to obligation. 
It is just as absurd in the one case as in the other to infer 
real responsibility from a feeling or persuasion of resposibility. 
To hold that men are always responsible because they loosely 
think themselves to be so, is absurd. In cases of temptation 
such as that just supposed, as soon as the attention is directed 
to the fact of inability to avoid those thoughts and feelings, 
and the mind is conscious of the will's resisting them and of be- 
ing unable to banish them, it readily rests in the assurance that 
it is not responsible for them. Its own irresponsibility in such 
cases appears self-evident to the mind the moment the proper in- 
ability is considered, and the affirmation of irresponsibility at- 
tended to. Now if the soul naturally and truly regarded it- 
self as responsible when there is a proper inability and im- 
possibility, the instructions above referred to could not relieve 
the mind. It would say, To be sure I know that I can not 
avoid having these thoughts and feelings, any more than I 
can cease to be the subject of consciousness, yet I know I 
am resposible, notwithstanding. These thoughts and feel- 
ings are states of my own mind and no matter how I come 
by them or whether I can control or prevent them or not, 
Inability, you know is no bar to obligation; therefore my ob- 
ligation and my guilt remain. Wo is me, for I am undone. 
The idea, then, of responsibility when there is in fact real 
inability is a prejudice of education, a mistake. 

The mistake, unless strong prejudice of education has ta- 
ken possession of the mind, lies in overlooking the fact of a 
real and proper inability. Unless the judgment has been 
strongly biased by education, it never judges itself bound to 



THE NOTION OF INABILITY. 57 

perform impossibilities nor even concieve of such a thing. 
Who ever held himself bound to undo what is past, to recall 
past time or to substitute holy acts and states of mind in the 
place of past sinful ones? No one ever held himself bound 
to do this ; first, because he knows it to be impossible, and 
secondly, because no one that I have heard of ever taught or 
asserted any such obligation ; and therefore none have re- 
ceived so strong a bias from education as loosely to hold such 
an opinion. But sometimes the bias of education is so great 
that the subjects of it seem capable of believing almost any 
thing, however inconsistent with the intuitions of the reason 
and consequently in the face of the most certain knowledge. 
For example, President Edwards relates of a young woman in 
his congregation that she was deeply convicted of being 
guilty for Adam's first sin, and deeply repented of it. Now 
suppose that this and like cases should be regarded as conclu- 
sive proof that men are guilty of that sin, and deserve the 
wrath and curse of God forever for that sin ; and that all 
men will suffer the pains of hell forever, except they become 
convinced of their personal guilt for that sin, and repent of it 
as in dust and ashes! President Edward's teaching on the 
subject of the relation of all men to Adam's first sin, it is well 
known, was calculated in a degree to pervert the judgment 
upon that subject ; and this sufficiently accounts for the fact 
above alluded to. But apart from education, no human being 
ever held himself responsible for or guilty of the first or any 
other sin of Adam or of any other being, who existed and died 
before he himself existed. The reason is that all moral agents 
naturally know that inability or a proper impossibility is a bar 
to moral obligation and responsibility ; and they never con- 
ceive to the contrary unless biased by a mystifying education 
that casts a fog over their primitive and constitutional con- 
victions. 

2. Some have denied ability because they have strangely 
held that the moral law requires sinners to be just in all res- 
pects what they might have been had they never sinned. 
That is, they maintain that God requires of them just as 
high and perfect a service as if their powers had never been 
abused by sin, as if they had always been developed by the 
perfectly right use of them. This they admit to be a natural 
impossibility; nevertheless they hold that God may justly re- 
quire it, and that sinners are justly bound to perform this im- 
possible service and that they sin continually in coming short 
of it. To this sentiment I answer, that it might be main- 



Oo SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

tained with as much show of reason and as much authority 
from the Bible, that God might and does require of all sinners 
to undo all their acts of sin, and to substitute holy ones in 
their places, and that he holds them as sinning every moment 
by the neglect to do this. Why may not God as well re- 
quire one as the other ! They are alike impossibilities. They 
are* alike impossibilities originating in the sinner's own act or 
fault. If the sinners rendering himself unable to obey in 
one case does not set aside the right of God to command, so 
does it not for the same reason in the other. If an inability 
resulting from the sinner's own act can not bar the right of 
God to make the requisition in the one case, neither can it 
for the same reason in the other. But every one can see that 
God can not justly require the sinner to recall past time, and 
to undo past acts. But why? No other reason can be as- 
signed than that it is impossible. But the same reason, it is 
admitted, exists in its full extent in the other case. It is ad- 
mitted that sinners who have long indulged in sin or who 
have sinned at all, are really as unable to render as high a de- 
gree of service as they might have done had they never sin- 
ned, as they are to recall past time or to undo all their past 
acts of sin. On what ground then of reason or revelation does 
the assertion rest that in one case an impossibility is a bar to 
obligation and not in the other? I answer, There is no ground 
whatever for the assertion in question. It is a sheer and an ab- 
surd assumption, unsupported by any affirmation of reason or 
any truth or principle of revelation. 

But to this assumption I reply again, as I have done on a 
former occasion, that if it be true, it must follow that no one 
on earth or in heaven who has ever sinned, will be able to ren- 
der as perfect a service as the law demands ; for there is no 
reason to believe that any being who has abused his powers by 
sin will ever in time or eternity be able to render as high a 
service as he might have done had he at every moment duly 
developed them by perfect obedience. If this theory is 
true, I see not why it does not follow that the saints will be 
guilty in heaven of the sin of omission. A sentiment based 
upon an absurdity in the outset, as the one in question is, and 
resulting in such consequences as this must, is to be rejected 
without hesitation. 

3. A consciousness of the force of habit in respect to all 
the acts and states of body and mind has contributed to the 
loose holding of the doctrine of inability. Every one who is 
at all in the habit of observation and self-reflection is aware 



THE NOTION OP INABILITY. 59 

that for some reason we acquire a greater and greater facili- 
ty in doing any thing by practice or repetition. We find this 
to be true in respect to acts of will as really as in respect to 
the involuntary states of mind. When the will has been long 
committed to the indulgence of the propensities and in the 
habit of submitting itself to their impulses, there is a real diffi- 
culty of some sort in the way of changing its action. This dif- 
ficulty can not really impair the liberty of the will. If it 
could, it would destroy or so far impair moral agency and ac- 
countability. But habit may, and, as every one knows, does 
interpose an obstacle of some sort in the way of right wil- 
ling, or on the other hand in the way of wrong willing. That 
is, men both obey and disobey with greatest facility from hab- 
it. Habit strongly favors the accustomed action of the will 
in any direction. This, as I said, never does or can properly 
impair the freedom of the will, or render it impossible to act 
in a contrary direction ; for if it could and should, the actions 
of the will, in that case, being determined by a law of neces- 
sity in one direction, would have no moral character. If be- 
nevolence became a habit so strong that it were utterly im- 
possible to will in an opposite direction or not to will benevo- 
lently, benevolence would cease to be virtuous. So on the 
other hand with selfishness. If the will came to be deter- 
mined in that direction by habit grown into a law of necessity, 
such action would and must cease to have moral character. 
But, as I said, there is a real conscious difficulty of some sort 
in the way of obedience when the will has been long accus- 
tomed to sin. This is strongly recognized in the language of 
inspiration and in devotional hymns, as well as in the language 
of experience by all men. The language of Scripture 
is often so strong upon this point, that but for a regard to the 
subject-matter of discourse, we might justly infer a proper 
inability. For example. Jer. 13 : 23. " Can the Ethiopian 
change his skin or the leopard his spots ? then may ye also do 
good, that are accustomed to do evil." This and similar passa- 
ges recognize the influences of habit. u Then may ye who are 
accustomed to do evil:" custom or habit is to 8e overcome and 
in the strong language of the prophet, this is like changing 
the Ethiop's skin or the leopard's spots. But to understand 
the prophet as here affirming a proper inability were to dis- 
regard one of the fundamental rules of interpreting language, 
namely, that it is to be understood by reference to the sub- 
ject of discourse. The latter part of the seventh chapter of Ro- 
mans, affords a striking instance and an illustration of this. 



60 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



It is, as has just been said, a sound and most important rule of 
interpreting all language that due regard be had to the sub- 
ject matter of discourse. When can not and such like terms 
that express an inability are applied to physical or involutary 
actions or states of mind, they express a proper natural ina- 
bility ; but when they are used in reference to actions of free 
will, they express not a proper impossibility, but only a diffi- 
culty arising out of the existence of a contrary choice or the 
law of habit or both. Much question has been made about 
the seventh of Romans in its relation to the subject of abili- 
ty and inability. Let us therefore look a little into this 
passage, Romans 7: 15 — 23. "For that which I do, I al- 
low not; for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, 
that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent 
unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that 
do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me 
(that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is pre- 
sent with me ; but how to perform that which is good I find 
not. For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which 
I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no 
more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a 
law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. For 
I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see 
another law in my members, warring against the law of my 
mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which 
is in my members." Now what did the apostle mean 
by this language ? Did he use language here in the pop- 
ular sense, or with strictly philosophical propriety? He 
says he finds himself able to will but not able to do. Is he 
then speaking of a mere outward or physical inability ? Does 
he mean merely to say that the established connection be- 
tween volition and its sequents was disturbed so that he 
could not execute his volitions ? This his language, literally in- 
terpreted, and without reference to the subject-matter of dis- 
couse, and without regard to the manifest scope and design 
of the writer, would lead us to conclude. But who ever con- 
tended for such an interpretation ? The apostle used popu- 
lar language and was describing a very common experi- 
ence. Convicted sinners and backslidden saints often make 
legal resolutions, and resolve upon obedience under the influ- 
ence of legal motives and without really becoming benevolent, 
and changing the attitude of their wills. They, under the 
influence of conviction, purpose selfishly to do their duty to 
God and man, and, in the presence of temptation, they con-* 



THE NOTION OF INABILITY. 61 

stantly fail of keeping their resolutions. It is true that 
with their selfish hearts, or in the selfish attitude of their 
wills, they can not keep their resolutions to abstain from 
those inward thoughts and emotions nor from those outward 
actions that result by a law of necessity from a selfish state or 
attitude of the will. These legal resolutions the apostle 
popularly calls willings. u To will is present with me, but 
how to do good I find not. When I would do good, evil is pre- 
sent with me, so that the good I would I do not and the evil I 
would not that I do. If then I do the evil I would not, it is 
no longer I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I delight 
in the law of God after the inner man. But I see another 
law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and 
bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my 
members," &c. Now this appears to me to be descriptive of a 
very familiar experience of every deeply convicted sinner or 
backslider. The will is committed to the propensities, to the 
law in the members, or to the gratification of the impulses of 
the sensibility. Hence the outward life is selfish. Convic- 
tion of sin leads to the formation of resolutions of amend- 
ment while the will does not submit to God. These resolu- 
tions constantly fail of securing the result contemplated. 
The will still abides in a state of committal to self-gratifi- 
cation ; and hence resolutions to amend in feeling or the out- 
ward life, fail of securing those results. 

Nothing was more foreign from the apostle's purpose, it 
seems to me, than to affirm a proper inability of will to yield 
to the claims of God. Indeed he affirms and assumes the 
freedom of his will. To will, he says, is present with me ; 
that is, to resolve. But resolution is an act of will. It is a 
purpose, a design. He purposed, designed to amend. To 
form resolutions was present with him, but how to do good 
he found not. The reason why he did not execute his pur- 
poses was that they were selfishly made. That is, he resolved 
upon reformation without giving his heart to God, without 
submitting his will to God, without actually becoming benev- 
olent. This caused his perpetual failure. This language 
construed strictly to the letter would lead to the conclusion 
that the apostle was representing a case where the will is 
right, but where the established and natural connection be- 
tween volition and its sequents is destroyed, so that the out- 
ward act did not follow the action of the will. In this case 
all schools would agree that the act of the will constitutes 
real obedience. The whole passage apart from the subject- 



62 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

matter of discourse and from the manifest design and scope 
of the writer, might lead us to conclude that the apostle was 
speaking of a proper inability, and that he did not, therefore, 
regard the failure as his own fault. "It is no more I, but sin 
that dwelleth in me. O wretched man that I am," &c. 
Those who maintain that the apostle meant to assert a proper 
inability in this case to obey, must also admit that he repre- 
sented this inability as a bar to obligation, and regarded his 
state as calamitous rather than as properly sinful. But the fact 
is, he w r as portraying a legal experience and spoke of finding 
himself unable to keep selfish resolutions of amendment 
in the presence of temptation. His will was in a state of 
committal to the indulgence of the propensities. In the ab- 
sence of temptation, his convictions, and fears, and feelings 
were the strongest impulses, and under their influence he would 
form resolutions to do his duty, to abstain from fleshly indul- 
gences, &c. But as some other appetite or desire came to 
be more strongly excited, he yielded to that of course and 
broke his former resolution. Paul writes as if speaking of 
himself, but was doubtless speaking as the representative of 
a class of persons already named. He found the law of sel- 
fish habit exceedingly strong, and so strong as to lead him to 
cry out, M O wretched man," &c. But this is not affirming a 
proper inability of will to submit to God. 

4. All men who seriously undertake their own reformation 
find themselves in great need of help and support from the 
Holy Spirit, in consequence of the physical depravity of 
which I have formerly spoken, and because of the great 
strength of their habit of self-indulgence. They are prone, 
as is natural, to express their sense of dependence on the 
Divine Spirit in strong language, and to speak of this de- 
pendence as if it consisted in a real inability, when in fact 
they do not really consider it as a proper inability. They 
speak upon this subject just as they do upon any and every 
other subject, when they are conscious of a strong inclina- 
tion to a given course. They say in respect to many things, 
I can not, when they mean only, I will not, and never think 
of being understood as affirming a proper inability. The 
inspired writers expressed themselves in the common lan- 
guage of men upon such subjects, and are doubtless to be 
understood in the same way. In common parlance, can not 
often means will not, and perhaps is used as often in this 
sense as it is to express a proper inability. Men do not 
misinterpret this language and suppose it to affirm a proper 



THE NOTION OF INABILITY. 63 

inability, when used in reference to acts of will, except on 
the subject of obedience to God; and why should they 
assign a meaning to language when used upon this subject 
which they do not assign to it any where else? 

But, as I said in a former lecture, under the light of the 
gospel and with the promises in our hands, God does require 
of us what we should be unable to do and be but for these 
promises and this proffered, assistance. Here is a real ina- 
bility to do directly in our own strength all that is required 
of us upon consideration of the proffered aid. We can 
only do it by strength imparted by the Holy Spirit. That 
is, we can not know Christ and avail ourselves of his offices 
and relations, and appropriate to our own souls his fulness, 
except as we are taught by the Holy Spirit. The thing im- 
mediately and directly required, is to receive the Holy Spirit 
by faith to be our teacher and guide, to take of Christ's and 
show it to us. This confidence we are able to exercise. 
Who ever really and intelligently affirmed that he had not 
power or ability to trust or confide in the promise and oath 
of God? 

Much that is said of inability in poetry and in the common 
language of the saints, respects not the subjection of the will 
to God, but those experiences and states of feeling that de- 
pend on the illuminations of the Spirit just referred to. The 
language that is so common in prayer and in the devotional 
dialect of the church, respects generally our dependence 
upon the Holy Spirit for such divine discoveries of Christ as 
to charm the soul into a steadfast abiding in him. We feel 
our dependence upon the Holy Spirit to so enlighten us as to 
break up forever the power of sinful habit and draw us 
away from our idols entirely and forever. 

In future lectures, I shall have occasion to enlarge much 
upon the subject of our dependence upon Christ and the 
Holy Spirit. But this dependence does not consist in a 
proper inability to will as God directs, but, as I have said, 
partly in the power of sinful habit, and partly in the great 
darkness of our souls in respect to Christ and his mediatorial 
work and relations. All these together do not constitute a 
proper inability, for the plain reason that through the right 
action of our will which is always possible to us, these difficul- 
ties can all be directly or indirectly overcome. Whatever we 
can do or be directly or indirectly by willing is possible to 
us. But there is no degree of spiritual attainment required 
of us that may not be reached directly or indirectly by right 



04 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

•willing. Therefore these attainments are possible. "If any 
man" says Christ, "will do his will," that is, has an obedient 
will, u he shall know the doctrine whether it be of God." 
"If thine eye be single," that is, if the intention or will is 
right, "thy whole body shall be full of light." "If any man 
love me, he will keep my words and my Father will love 
him. and we will come and make our abode with him." The 
Scriptures abound with assurances of light and instruction, 
and of all needed grace and help upon condition of a right 
will or heart, that is, upon condition of our being really 
willing to obey the light when and as fast as we receive it. 
I have abundantly shown on former occasions that a right 
state of the will constitutes, for the time being, all that, strict- 
ly speaking, the moral law requires. But I said that it also, 
though in a less strict and proper sense, requires all those 
acts and states of the intellect and sensibility which are 
connected by a law of necessity with the right action of the 
will. Of course it also requires that cleansing of the sen- 
sibility and all those higher forms of christian experience 
that result from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is, 
the law of God requires that these attainments shall be 
made when the means are provided and enjoyed, and as 
soon as in the nature of the case these attainments are pos- 
sible. But it requires no more than this. For the law of God 
can never require absolute impossibilities. That which re- 
quires absolute impossibilities, is not and can not be moral 
law. For, as was formerly said, moral law is the law of nature, 
and what law of nature would that be that should require ab- 
solute impossibilities? This would be a mockery of a law of 
nature. What! a law of nature requiring that which is impos- 
sible to nature both directly and indirectly! Impossible. 






LECTURE LI. 
REPENTANCE AND IMPENITENCE. 

In the discussion of this subject I shall show. 

I. What Repentance is not. 

II. What it is. 

III. What is implied in it. 

IV. What Impenitence is not. 

V. What it is. 

VI. Some things that are implied in impenitence. 

VII. Notice some of the characteristics or evi- 
dences OF I3IPENITENCE. 

I. I AM TO SHOW WHAT REPENTANCE IS NOT. 

1. The Bible every where represents repentance as a vir- 
tue, and as constituting a change of moral character; conse- 
quently it can not be a phenomenon of the Intelligence: 
that is, it cannot consist in conviction of sin, nor in any 
intellectual apprehension of our guilt or ill-desert. All the 
states or phenomena of the intelligence are purely passive 
states of mind, and of course, moral character, strictly speak- 
ing, can not be predicated of them. 

2. Repentance is not a phenomenon of the Sensibility: 
that is, it does not consist in a feeling of regret or remorse, 
of compunction or sorrow for sin, or of sorrow in view of the 
consequences of sin to self or to others, nor in any feelings 
or emotions whatever. All feelings or emotions belong to the 
sensibility, and are, of course, purely passive states of mind, 
and consequently can have no moral character in themselves. 

It should be distinctly understood, and forever borne in 
mind, that repentance can not consist in any involuntary state 
of mind, for it is impossible that moral character, strictly 
speaking, should pertain to passive states, 

II. What repentance is. 

There are two Greek words which are translated by the 
English word, repent. 

1. Metamelornai, to care for, or to be concerned for one's self; 
hence to change one's course. This term seems generally 
6* 



66 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

to be used to express a state of the sensibility, as regret, re- 
morse, sorrow for sin, &c. But sometimes it also expresses a 
change of purpose as a consequence of regret, or remorse, or 
sorrow; as in Matthew 21 : 29, — "He answered and said, I will 
not; but afterwards he repented and went." It is used to 
represent the repentance of Judas, which evidently consisted 
of remorse and despair. 

2. Mctanoeo, to take an after view; or more strictly, to 
change one's mind as a consequence of and in conformity with 
a second and more rational view of the subject. This word 
evidently expresses a change of choice, purpose, intention, 
in conformity with the dictates of the intelligence. 

This is no doubt the idea of evangelical repentance. It is 
a phenomenon of will, and consists in the turning or change 
of the ultimate intention from selfishness to benevolence. 
The term expresses the act of turning: the changing of the 
heart or of the ruling preference of the soul. It might with 
propriety be rendered by the terms "changing the heart." 
The English word repentance is often used to express regret, 
remorse, sorrow, &c, and is used in so loose a sense as not 
to convey a distinct idea to the common mind of the true na- 
ture of evangelical repentance. A turning from sin to holi- 
ness, or more strictly, from a state of consecration to self to a 
state of consecration to God, is and must be the turning, the 
change of mind, or the repentance that is required of all sin- 
ners. Nothing less can constitute a virtuous repentance, and 
nothing more can be required. 

III. What is implied in repentance. 

1. Such is the correlation of the will to the intelligence, 
that repentance must imply reconsideration or after thought. 
It must imply self-reflection, and such an apprehension of 
one's guilt as to produce self-condemnation. That selfishness 
is sin, and that it is right and duty to consecrate the whole 
being to God and his service, are first-truths of reason. They 
are necessarily assumed by all moral agents. They are, 
however, often unthought of, not reflected upon. Repentance 
implies the giving up of the attention to the consideration 
and self-application of these first-truths and consequently 
implies conviction of sin, and guilt, and ill-desert, and a 
sense of shame and self-condemnation. It implies an intel- 
lectual and a hearty justification of God, of his law, of his 
moral and providential government, and of all his works and 
ways. 



REPENTANCE AND IMPENITENCE. 67 

It implies an apprehension of the nature of sin, that it 
belongs to the heart, and does not consist in outward con- 
duct; that it is an utterly unreasonable state of mind, and 
that it justly deserves the wrath and curse of God forever. 

It implies an apprehension of the reasonableness of the 
law and commands of God, and of the folly and madness of 
sin. It implies an intellectual and a hearty giving up of all 
controversy with God upon all and every point. 

It implies a conviction that God is wholly right, and the 
sinner wholly wrong, and a thorough and hearty abandon- 
ment of all excuses and apologies for sin. It implies an en- 
tire and universal acquittal of God from every shade and. 
degree of blame, a thorough taking of the entire blame of 
sin to self. It implies a deep and thorough abasement of self 
in the dust, a crying out of soul against self, and a most sin- 
cere and universal, intellectual and hearty exaltation of God. 

2. Such also is the connection of the will and the sensibil- 
ity, that the turning of the will or evangelical repentance 
implies sorrow for sin as necessarily resulting from the turn- 
ing of the will, together with the intellectual views of sin 
which are implied in repentance. Neither conviction of sin 
nor sorrow for it constitutes repentance. Yet from the cor- 
relation which is established between the intelligence, the 
sensibility, and the will, both conviction of sin and sorrow 
for it are implied in evangelical repentance, the one as neces- 
sarily preceding, and the other as often preceding and as 
always and necessarily resulting from repentance. During 
the process of conviction, it often happens that the sensibil- 
ity is hardened and unfeeling; or if there is much feeling, it 
is often only regret, remorse, agony, and despair. But when 
the heart has given way, and the evangelical turning has 
taken place, it often happens that the fountain of the great 
deep in the sensibility is broken up, the sorrows of the soul 
are stirred to the very bottom, and the sensibility pours forth 
its gushing tides like a volcano. But it frequently happens 
too, in minds less subject to deep emotion, that the sorrows 
do not immediately flow in deep and broad channels, but 
are mild, melting, tender, tearful, silent, subdued, quiet. 

Self-loathing is another state of the sensibility implied in 
evangelical repentance. This state of mind may, and of- 
ten does exist where repentance is not, just as outward mo- 
rality does. But like outward morality, it must exist where 
true repentance is. Self-loathing is a natural and a necessa- 



68 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

ry consequence of those intellectual views of self that are 
implied in repentance. While the intelligence apprehends 
the utter, shameful guilt of self, and the heart yields to the 
conviction, the sensibility necessarily sympathizes, and a 
feeling of self-loathing and abhorrence is the inevitable con- 
sequence. 

It implies a loathing and abhorrence of the sins of others, 
a most deep and thorough feeling of opposition to sin — to 
all sin, in self and every body else. Sin has become, to the 
penitent soul, the abominable thing which it hates. 

3. It implies a holy indignation toward all sin and all sin- 
ners, and a manifest opposition to every form of iniquity. 

Repentance also implies peace of mind. The soul that 
has full confidence in the infinite wisdom and love of 
God, and in his universal providence, can not but have 
peace. And further, the soul that has abandoned all sin and 
turned to God is no longer in a state of warfare with itself 
nor with God. It must have peace of conscience — and peace 
with God. 

It implies heart-complacency in God and in all the 
holy. This must follow from the very nature of repentance. 

It implies confession of sin to God and to man, as far 
as sin has been committed against men. If the heart has 
thoroughly renounced sin, it has become benevolent, and is 
of course disposed so far as possible to undo the wrong it 
has committed, to confess sin and humble self on account of 
it before God and our neighbor whom we have injured. Re- 
pentance implies humility or a willingness to be known and 
estimated according to our real character. It implies 
a disposition to do right and to confess our faults to God and 
man so far as man has a right to know them. Let no one 
who has refused and still refuses or neglects to confess his 
sins to God and those sins to men that have been committed 
against them, profess repentance unto salvation; but let him 
remember that God has said, "He that covereth his sins 
shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them 
shall find mercy," and again, "Confess your faults one to 
another, and pray one for another that ye may be healed." 

Repentance implies a willingness to make restitution, 
and the actual making of it so far as ability goes. He is not 
just and of course is not penitent who has injured his neigh- 
bor in his person, reputation, property, or in any thing, and 
is unwilling to make restitution. And he is unwilling to 
make restitution who neglects to do so whenever he is able. 



REPENTANCE AND IMPENITENCE. 69 

It is impossible that a soul truly penitent should neglect to 
make all practicable restitution, for the plain reason that 
penitence implies a benevolent and just attitude of the will, 
and the will controls the conduct by a law of necessity. 

Repentance implies reformation of outward life. This 
follows from reformation of heart by a law of necessity. It 
is naturally impossible that a penitent soul remaining penitent 
should indulge in any known sin. If the heart be reformed, 
the life must be as the heart is. 

It implies a universal reformation of life, that is, a refor- 
mation extending to all outward sin. The penitent does 
not, and, remaining penitent, can not, reform in respect to 
some sins only. If penitent at all, he must have repented of 
sin as sin, and of course of all sin. If he has turned to God 
and consecrated himself to God, he has of course ceased 
from sin, from all sin as such. Sin, as we have seen on a for- 
mer occasion, is a unit, and so is holiness. Sin consists in 
selfishness, and holiness in disinterested benevolence: it is 
therefore sheer nonsense to say that repentance can consist 
with indulgence in some sins. What are generally termed 
little as well as what are termed great sins are alike rejected 
and abhorred by the truly penitent soul, and this from a law 
of necessity, he being truly penitent. 

4. It implies faith or confidence in God in all things. It 
implies not only the conviction that God is wholly right in all 
his controversy with sinners, but also that the heart has yield- 
ed to this conviction and has come fully over to confide most 
implicitly in him in all respects, so that it can readily commit 
all interests for time and eternity to his hands. Repentance 
is a state of mind that implies the fullest confidence in all 
the promises and threatenings of God. 

IV. What impenitence is not. 

1. It is not a negation or the mere absence of repentance. 
Some seem to regard impenitence as a nonentity, as the mere 
absence of repentance; but this is a great mistake. 

2. It is not mere apathy in the sensibility in regard to sin 
and a mere want of sorrow for it. 

3. It is not the absence of conviction of sin, nor the con- 
sequent carelessness of the sinner in respect to the command- 
ments of God. 

4. It is not an intellectual self-justification, nor does it con- 
sist in a disposition to cavil at truth and the claims of God. 
These may and often do result from impenitence, but are not 
identical with it. 



/U SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

5. I does not consist in the spirit of excuse-making so of- 
ten manifested by sinners. This spirit is a result of impeni- 
tence, but does not constitute it. 

6. Nor does it consist in the love of sin for its own sake, 
nor in the love of sin in any sense. It is not a constitutional 
appetite, relish, or craving for sin. If this constitutional cra- 
ving for sin existed, it could have no moral character in as 
much as it would be a wholly involuntary state of mind. It 
could not be the crime of impenitence. 

V. What impenitence is. 

1. It is every where in the Bible represented as a heinous 
sin, as in Matt. 11: 20 — 24. t; Then began he to upbraid the 
cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because 
they repented not. Woe unto thee, Chorazin ! woe unto 
thee, Bethsaida ! for if the mighty works which were done 
in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have 
repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto 
you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day 
of judgment than for you. And thou Capernaum, which art 
exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell ; for if the 
mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done 
in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say 
unto you, that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sod- 
om, in the day of judgment, than for thee." Here, as else 
where, impenitence is represented as most aggravated wicked- 
ness. 

2. Impenitence is a phenomenon of will and consists in 
the will's cleaving to self-indulgence under light. It consists 
in the will's pertinacious adherence to the gratification of self 
in the face and in despite of all the light with which the sin- 
ner is surrounded. It is not, as has been said, a passive 
state nor a mere negation ; it is an active and obstinate state 
of the will, a determined holding on to sin. This under light 
is of course aggravated wickedness. Considered in this light, 
it is easy to account for all the woes and denunciations that 
the Savior uttered against it. When the claims of God are 
revealed to the mind, it must necessarily yield to them or 
strengthen itself in sin. It must as it were gird itself up 
and struggle to resist the claims of duty. This strength- 
ening self in sin under light is the particular form of sin 
which we call impenitence. All sinners are guilty of it be- 
cause all have some light, but some are vastly more guilty of 
it than others. 



REPENTANCE AND IMPENITENCE. 71 

VI. Notice some things that are implied in impeni- 
tence. 

As it essentially consists in a cleaving to self-indulgence 
under light, it implies, 

1. That the impenitent sinner willfully prefers his own pet- 
ty and momentary gratification to all the other and higher in- 
terests of God and the universe; that because these gratifica- 
tions are his own, or the gratification of self, he therefore 
gives them the preference over all the infinite interests of all 
other beings. 

2. It implies the deliberate and actual setting at naught, 
not only of the interests of God, and of the universe, as of 
no value, but it implies also a total disregard of and even 
contempt for the rights of all other beings. It is a practical 
denial that they have any rights or interests to be promoted. 

3. It implies a rejection of and contempt for the authority 
of God and a spurning of his law and gospel. 

4. It implies a bidding defiance to God and a virtual chal- 
lenge to him to do his worst. 

5. It implies the utmost fool-hardiness and a state of utter 
recklessness of consequences. 

6. It implies the utmost injustice and disregard of all that 
is just and equal, and this, be it remembered, under light. 

1 7. It implies a present justification of all past sin. The 
sinner who holds on to his self-indulgence in the presence of 
the light of the gospel, really in heart justifies all his past re- 
bellion. 

8. Consequently present impenitence, especially under the 
light of the glorious gospel, is a heart-justification of all sin. 
It is a deliberate taking sides with sinners against God and is 
a virtual endorsing of all the sins of earth and hell. This 
principle is clearly implied in Christs's teaching, Matt. 23: 34 
— 36. "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and 
wise men, and scribes ; and some of them ye shall kill and 
crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your syna- 
gogues, and persecute them from city to city; that upon you 
may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from 
the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son 
of Barachias whom ye slew between the temple and the al- 
tar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon 
this generation." 

9. Present impenitence under all the light and experience 
which the sinner now has, involves the guilt of all his past 
sin. If he still holds on to it, he in heart justifies it. If he 



72 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

in heart justifies it, he virtually recommits it. If in the pre- 
sence of accumulated light he holds on to present sin, he vir- 
tually endorses, recommits, and is again guilty of all past sin. 

10. Impenitence is a charging God with sin; it is self-jus- 
tification, and consequently it condemns God. It is a direct 
controversy with God and a denial of his right to govern and 
of the sinners duty to obey. 

11. It is a deliberate rejection of mercy and a virtual in- 
sisting that God is a tyrant, and that he ought not to govern, 
but that he ought to repent. 

12. It implies a total want of confidence in God; want of 
confidence in his character and government; in his works and 
ways. It virtually charges God with usurpation, falsehood, 
and selfishness in all its odious forms. It is a makingwar on 
every moral attribute of God, and it is utter enmity against 
him. It is mortal enmity, and would of course always mani- 
fest itself in sinners as it did when Christ was upon the 
earth. When he poured the light upon them, they hardened 
themselves until they were ripe for murdering him. This is 
the true nature of impenitence. It involves the guilt of a 
mortal enmity against God. 

VII. Notice some of the characteristics or eviden- 
ces OF IMPENITENCE. 

1. A manifested indifference to the sins of men is evidence 
of an impenitent and sin-justifying state of mind. It is im- 
possible that a penitent soul should not be deeply and hearti- 
ly opposed to all sin; and if heartily opposed to it, it is im- 
possible that he should not manifest this opposition, for the 
heart controls the life by a law of necessity. 

2. Of course a manifest heart-complacency in sin or in 
sinners is sure evidence of an impenitent state of mind. "He 
that will be the friend of the world is the enemy of God." 
Heart-complacency in sinners is that friendship of the world 
that is enmity against God. 

3. A manifest want of zeal in opposing sin and in promo- 
ting reformation, is a sure indication of an impenitent state of 
mind. The soul that has been truly convinced of sin, and 
turned from sin to the love and service of God, can not but 
manifest a deep interest in every effort to reform sin out of 
the world. Such a soul can not but be zealous in opposing 
sin and in building up and establishing righteousness in the 
earth. 

4. A manifest want of sympathy with God in respect to his 
government, providential and moral, is an evidence of im- 



REPENTANCE AND IMPENITENCE. 73 

penitence of heart. A penitent soul, as has been said, will 
and must of course justify God in all his ways. This is im- 
plied in genuine repentance. A disposition to complain of 
the strictness and rigor of God's commandments — to speak 
of the providence of God in a complaining manner — to mur- 
mur at its allotments, and repine at the circumstances in 
which it has placed a soul, is to evince an impenitent and re- 
bellious state of mind. 

5. A manifest want of confidence in the character, faith- 
fulness and promises of God, is also sure evidence of an im- 
penitent state of mind. A distrust of God in any respect 
can not consist with a penitent state of heart. 

6. The absence of peace of mind is sure evidence of an im- 
penitent state. The penitent soul must have peace of conscience 
because impenitence is a state of conscious rectitude. It also 
must have peace with God. Repentance is the turning from 
an attitude of rebellion against God, to a state of universal 
submission and embracing of his will. This must of course 
bring peace to the soul. When, therefore, there is a manifest 
want of peace, there is evidence of impenitence of heart, 

7. Every unequivocal manifestation of selfishness is a con- 
clusive evidence of present impenitence. Repentance, as we 
have seen, consists in the turning of the soul from selfishness 
to benevolence. It follows of course that the presence of 
selfishness in the soul is proof conclusive of the absence of 
repentance. 

8. A spirit of self-indulgence is conclusive evidence of an 
impenitent state of mind. Repentance implies the denial of 
self; the denial or subjection of all the appetites, passions, and 
propensities to the law of the intelligence. Therefore a man- 
ifest spirit of self-indulgence, a disposition to seek the grati- 
fication of the appetites and passions, such as the subjection 
of the will to the use of tobacco, of alcohol, or to any of the 
natural or artificial appetites under light and in opposition to the 
law of the reason, is conclusive evidence of present impenitence. 

9. A spirit of self-justification is another evidence of im- 
penitence. This manifestation must be directly the opposite 
of that which the truly penitent soul will make. 

10. A spirit of excuse-making for neglect of duty is also a 
conclusive evidence of an impenitent heart. Repentance 
implies the giving up of all excuses for disobedience and a 
hearty obedience in all things. Of course, where there is a 
manifest disposition to make excuses for not being what and 

7 



74 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

all God requires us to be, it is certain that there is and must 
be an impenitent state of mind. It is war with God. 

11. A fearfulness that implies a want of confidence in the 
the perfect faithfulness of God or that implies unbelief in any 
respect, is an indication of an impenitent state of mind. 

12. A want of candor upon any subject also betrays an 
impenitent heart. A penitent state of the will is committed 
to know and to embrace all truth. Therefore a prejudiced, 
uncandid state of mind must be inconsistent with penitence, 
and a manifestation of prejudice must evince present impen- 
itence. 

13. An unwillingness to be searched, and to have all our 
words and ways brought into the light of truth, and to be re- 
proved when we are in error, is a sure indication of an im- 
penitent state of mind. w Every one that doeth evil hateth 
the light, neither cometh to the light lest his deeds should be 
reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that 
his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in 
God." 

14. Only partial reformation of life, also indicates that the 
heart has not embraced the whole will of God. When there 
is a disposition manifested to indulge in some sin, no matter 
how little, it is sure evidence of impenitence of heart. The 
penitent soul rejects sin as sin; of course every kind or de- 
gree of iniquity is put away, loathed, and abhorred. "Who- 
so keepeth the whole law and yet offends in one point, is 
guilty of all;" that is, if a man in one point unequivocally 
sins or disobeys God, it is certain that he truly from the heart 
obeys him in nothing. He has not an obedient state of mind. 
If he really had supreme respect to God's authority, he could 
not but obey him in all things. If therefore it be found that 
a professor of penitence does not manifest the spirit of uni- 
versal obedience, if in some things he is manifestly self-indul- 
gent, it may be known that he is altogether yet in sin, and 
that he is still in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of ini- 
quity. 

15. Neglect or refusal to confess and make restitution so 
far as opportunity and ability are enjoyed, is also a sure indi- 
cation of an unjust and impenitent state of mind. It would 
seem impossible for a penitent soul not at once to see and be 
impressed with the duty of making confession and restitution 
to those who have been injured by him. When this is 
refused or neglected, there must be impenitence. The heart 
controls the life by a law of necessity; when therefore there 



REPENTANCE AND IMPENITENCE. 75 

is a heart that confesses and forsakes sin, it is impossible that 
this should not appear in outward confession and restitution. 

16. A spirit of covetousness or grasping after the world 
is a sure indication of impenitence. " Covetousness is idola- 
try." It is a hungering and thirsting after, and devotion 
to this world. Acquisitiveness indulged must be proof posi- 
tive of an impenitent state of mind. If any man love the 
world, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 

17. A want of interest in and compassion for sinners, is a 
sure indication of impenitence. If one has seen his own 
guilt and ruin, and has found himself sunk in the horrible pit 
and miry clay of his own abominations, and has found the 
way of escape, it is natural as his breath to feel deeply for 
sinners, and to manifest a great compassion and concern for 
them, and a zeal for their salvation. If this sympathy and 
zeal are not manifested, it may be relied upon that there is 
still impenitence. There is a total want of that love to God 
and souls that is always implied in repentance. Seest thou 
a professed convert to Christ whose compassions are not 
stirred and whose zeal for the salvation of souls is not awa- 
kened? Be assured that you behold a hypocrite. 

18. A disposition to apologize for sin, to take part with 
sinners, or a want of fulness and clearness in condemning 
them and taking sides altogether with God, is evidence of an 
impenitent state of mind. A hesitancy or want of clearness 
in the mind's apprehension of the justice of God in condem- 
ning sinners to an eternal hell, shows that the eyes have not 
yet been thoroughly open to the nature, guilt, and desert of 
sin, and consequently this state of spiritual blindness, is sad 
evidence of an impenitent heart. 

19. A want of moral or spiritual perception, is also an in- 
dication of impenitence. When an individual is seen to have 
little or no conscience on many moral questions, can use 
tobacco, alcohol and such like things under the present 
light that has been shed on these practices, when self can be 
indulged without compunctions, this is a most certain indica- 
tion of an impenitent heart. True repentance is infallibly 
connected with a sensitive and discriminating conscience. 
When, therefore, there is a seared conscience, you may know 
there is a hard and impenitent heart. 

20. Spiritual sloth or indolence is another evidence of an 
impenitent heart. The soul that thoroughly turns to God 
and consecrates itself to him and wholly commits itself to 
promote his glory in the building up of his kingdom, will be 



76 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



must be any thing but slothful. A disposition to spiritual 
idleness, or to lounging or idolence of any kind, is an evi- 
dence that the heart is impenitent. I might pursue this sub- 
ject to an indefinite length; but what has been said must suf- 
fice for this course of instruction, and is sufficient to give 
you the clew by which )ou may detect the windings and de- 
lusions of the impenitent heart. 

I must conclude this discussion with several 

Remarks. 

1. Many mistake conviction of sin with the necessarily 
resulting emotions of remorse, regret, and sorrow for evan- 
gelical repentance. They give the highest evidence of hav- 
ing fallen into this mistake. 

2. Considering the current teaching upon this subject and 
the great want of discrimination in public preaching, and in 
writings on the subject of repentance, this mistake is natural. 
How few divines sufficiently discriminate between the phe- 
nomena of the Intelligence, the Sensibility and the Will. But 
until this discrimination is thoroughly made, great mistakes 
upon this subject may be expected both among the clergy and 
the laity, and multitudes will be self-deceived. 

3. It is of the highest importance for the ministry to un- 
derstand, and constantly insist in their teaching, that all vir- 
tuous exercises of mind are phenomena of the will, and in 
no case merely passive states of mind ; that, therefore, they 
are connected with the outward life by a law of necessity, 
and that therefore, when there is a right heart, there must be 
a right life. 

4. It is a most gross, as it is a very common delusion, to sep- 
arate religion from a pure morality, and repentance from re- 
formation. u What God,' 1 by an unalterable law of necessity, 
"has joined together let not man put asunder." 

5. It is also common to fall into the error of separating de- 
votion from practical benevolence. Many seem to be striving- 
after a devotion that is not piety. They are trying to work 
their sensibility into a state which they suppose to be devo- 
tion, while they retain selfishness in their hearts. They 
live in habitual self-indulgence and yet observe seasons of 
what they call devotion. Devotion is with them mere emo- 
tion, a state of feeling, a phenomenon of the sensibility, a 
devotion without religion. This is a horrible delusion. 

6. The doctrine of repentance or the necessity of repen- 
tance as a condition of salvation, is as truly a doctrine of 



REPENTANCE AND IMPENITENCE. 77 

natural as of revealed religion. It is a self evident truth that 
the sinner can not be saved except he repents. Without re- 
pentance God can not forgive him, and if he could and should, 
such forgiveness could not save him, for, in his sins, salvation 
is naturally impossible to him. Without just that change 
which has been described, and which the bible calls repen- 
tance, and which it makes a condition of pardon and salva- 
tion, it is plainly naturally and governmentally impossible for 
any sinner to be saved. 

7. Repentance is naturally necessary to peace of mind in 
this life. Until the sinner repents he is at war with himself 
and at war with God. There is a mutiny and a struggle and 
a controversy going on within him. His conscience will not 
be satisfied. Though cast down from the throne of govern- 
ment and trampled under foot, it will mutter and sometimes 
thunder its remonstrances and rebukes ; and although it has 
not the power to control the will, still it will assert the right 
to control. Thus there is war within the breast of the sin- 
ner himself, and until he repents he carries the elements of 
hell within him ; and sooner or later they will take fire and 
burst upon his soul in a universal and eternal conflagration. 



7*. 



LECTURE LII. 
FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 

I. What evangelical faith is not. 

II. What it is. 

III. What is implied in it. 

IV. What unbelief is not. 

V. What it is. 

VI. What is i3iplied in ubelief. 

VII. Conditions of both faith and unbelief. 

VIII. The guilt of unbelief. 

IX. Natural and governmental results of each. 

I. What evangelical faith is not. 

1. The term faith, like most other words, has diverse sig- 
nifications, and is manifestly used in the Bible sometimes to 
designate a state of the intelligence, in which cases it means 
an undoubting persuasion, a firm conviction, an unhesitating 
intellectual assent. This, however, is not its evangelical 
sense. Evangelical faith cannot be a phenomenon of the 
intelligence, for the plain reason that when used in an evan- 
gelical sense, it is always regarded as a virtue. But virtue 
can not be predicated of intellectual states, because these 
are involuntary or passive states of mind. Faith is a condition 
of salvation. It is something which we are commanded to 
do upon pain of eternal death. But if it be something to be 
done — a solemn duty, it can not be a merely passive state, a 
mere intellectual conviction. The Bible distinguishes be- 
tween intellectual and saving faith. There is a faith of dev- 
ils, and there is a faith of saints. James clearly distinguishes 
between them, and also between an antinomian and a saving 
faith. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being 
alone. Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have 
works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew 
thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one 
God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is 
dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when 



FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 79 

he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how 
faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made 
perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abra- 
ham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for right- 
eousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see 
then how that by works a man is justified, and not by 
faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified 
by works, when she had received the messengers, and had 
sent them out another way? For as the body without the 
spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." — James 
ii: 17 — 26. The distinction is here clearly marked, as it 
is elsewhere in the Bible, between intellectual and saving 
faith. 

One produces good works or a holy life; the other is un- 
productive. This shows that one is a phenomenon of the 
intellect merely and does not of course control the conduct. 
The'other must be a phenomenon of the will because it man- 
ifests itself in the outward life. Evangelical faith then is not 
a conviction, a perception of truth. It does not belong to the 
intelligence. 

2. It is not a feeling of any kind; that is, it does not be- 
long to and is not a phenomenon of the sensibility. The 
phenomena of the sensibility are passive states of mind and 
therefore have no moral character in themselves. Faith, 
regarded as a virtue, can not consist in any involuntary state 
of mind whatever. It is represented in the Bible as an active 
and most efficient state of mind. It works and u works by 
love." It produces " the obedience of faith." Christians 
are said to be sanctified by the faith that is in Christ. 

Indeed the Bible in a great variety of instances and ways 
represents faith in God and in Christ as a cardinal form of 
virtue and as the mainspring of an outwardly holy life. 
Hence it can not consist in any involuntary state or exercise 
of mind whatever. 

II. What evangelical faith is. 

1. Since the Bible uniformly represents saving or evangel- 
ical faith as a virtue, we know that it must be a phenomenon 
of will. It must consist too in something more than a mere 
executive volition, as distinguished from choice or intention. 
It is an efficient state of mind, and therefore it must con- 
sist in the heart or will's embracing the truth. It is the 
will's closing in with the truths of the gospel. It is the 
soul's act of yielding itself up or committing itself to the 



80 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

truths of the evangelical system. It is a trusting in Christ, 
a committing the soul and the whole being to him in his vari- 
ous offices and relations to men. It is a confiding in him and 
in what is revealed of him in his word and providence, and 
by his Spirit. 

The same word that is so often rendered faith in the New 
Testament is also rendered commit; as in John ii: 24 — 
" But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he 
knew all men." Luke xvi: 11 — u If therefore ye have not 
been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will com- 
mit to your trust the true riches?" In these passages the 
word rendered commit is the same word as that which is ren- 
dered faith. It is a confiding in God and in Christ as revealed 
in the Bible and in reason. It is a receiving of the testimo- 
ny of God concerning Himself and concerning all things of 
which he has spoken. It is a receiving of Christ for just what 
he is represented to be in his gospel and an unqualified sur- 
render of the will and of the whole being to Him. 

III. What is implied in evangelical faith. 

1. It implies an intellectual perception of the things, facts 
and truths believed. No one can believe that which he does 
not understand. It is impossible to believe that which is not 
so revealed to the mind that the mind understands it. It has 
been erroneously assumed that faith did not need light, that 
is, that it is not essential to faith that we understand the 
doctrines or facts that we are called on to believe. This is 
a false assumption; for how can we believe, trust, confide 
in what we do not understand? I must first understand what 
a proposition, a fact, a doctrine or a thing is, before I can 
say whether I believe or whether I ought to believe or not. 
Should you state a proposition to me in an unknown tongue 
and ask me if I believe it, I must reply I do not, for I do not 
understand the terms of the proposition. Perhaps I should 
believe the truth expressed and perhaps I should not, 1 can 
not tell until I understand the proposition. Any fact or doc- 
trine not understood is like a proposition in an unknown 
tongue: it is impossible that the mind should receive or reject 
it, should believe or disbelieve it, until it is understood. We 
can receive or believe a truth or fact or doctrine no farther 
than we understand it. So far as we do understand it, so far 
me may believe it, although we may not understand all about 
it. For example : I can believe in both the proper divinity 
and humanity of Jesus Christ. That he is both God and 



FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 



81 



man is a fact that I can understand. Thus far I can believe. 
But how his divinity and humanity are united I can not un- 
derstand. Therefore, I only believe the fact that they are 
united; the quo mo do of their union I know nothing about 
and I believe no more than I know. So I can understand that 
the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God. That the 
Father is God, that the Son is God, that the Holy Spirit is 
God, that these three, are Divine persons, I can understand as 
a fact, that each possesses all Divine perfection. I can also 
understand that there is no contradiction or impossibility in 
the declared fact that these three are one in their substratum of 
being; that is, that they are one in a different sense from that 
in which they are three; that they are three in one sense and 
one in another. I understand that this may be a fact and 
therefore I can believe it. But the quo modo of their union 
I neither understand nor believe. That is, I have no theory, 
no idea, no data on the subject, have no opinion and conse- 
quently no faith as to the manner in which they are united. 
That they are three, is as plainly taught upon the face of in- 
spiration as that Peter, James and John were three. That 
each of the three is God is as plainly revealed as that Peter, 
James and John were men. These are revealed facts, and 
facts that any one can understand. That these three are 
one God, is also a revealed fact. The quo modo of this fact 
is not revealed, I can not understand it, and have no belief as 
to the manner of this union. That they are one God is a 
fact that reason can neither affirm nor deny. The fact can 
be understood although the how is unintelligible to us in our 
present state. It is not a contradiction because they are not 
revealed as being one and three in the same sense, nor in any 
sense that reason can pronounce to be impossible. Faith, 
then, in any fact or doctrine implies that the intellect has an 
idea or that the soul has an understanding, an opinion of that 
which the heart embraces or believes. 

2. Evangelical faith implies the appropriation of the truths 
of the gospel to ourselves. It implies an acceptance of 
Christ as our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and re- 
demption. The soul that truly believes, believes that Christ 
tasted death for every man and of course for it. It appre- 
hends Christ as the Savior of the world, as offered to all, and 
embraces and receives him for itself. It appropriates his 
atonement and his resurrection and his intercession and his 
promises to itself. Christ is thus presented in the gospel, not 
only as the Savior of the world, but also to the individual 



04 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

acceptance of men. He is embraced by the world no far- 
ther than he is embraced by individuals. He saves the 
world no farther than he saves individuals. He died for the 
world because he died for the individuals that compose the 
race. Evangelical faith, then, implies the belief of the truths 
of the Bible, the apprehension of the truths just named, and 
a reception of them, and a personal acceptance and appro- 
priation of Christ to meet the necessities of the individual 
soul. 

3. It implies the unreserved yielding up of the mind to 
Christ in the various relations in which he is presented in the 
gospel. These relations will come under review at another 
time; all I wish here to say is that faith is a state of commit- 
tal to Christ, and of course it implies that the soul will 
be unreservedly yielded to him in all his relations to it so 
far and so fast as as these are apprehended by the intelli- 
gence. 

4. Evangelical faith implies an evangelical life. This 
would not be true if faith were merely an intellectual state 
or exercise. But since, as we have seen, faith is of the heart, 
since it consists in the committal of the will to Christ, it fol- 
fows by a law of necessity that the life will correspond with 
faith. 

5. Evangelical faith implies repentance towards God. 
Evangelical faith particularly respects Jesus Christ and his 
salvation. It is an embracing of Christ and his salvation. 
Of course it implies repentance towards God, that is, a turn- 
ing from sin to God. The will can not be submitted to 
Christ, it can not receive him as he is presented in the gospel 
while it neglects repentance toward God ; while it rejects the au- 
thority of the Father, it can not embrace and submit to the Son. 

6. Evangelical faith implies a renunciation of self-righteous- 
ness. Christ's salvation is opposed to a salvation by law or 
or by self-righteousness. It is therefore impossible for one 
to embrace Christ as the Savior of the soul any further than 
he renounces all hope or expectation of being saved by his 
own works, or righteousness. 

7. It implies the renunciation of the spirit of self-justifica- 
tion. The soul that receives Christ must have seen its lost 
estate. It must have been convinced of sin and of the folly 
and madness of attempting to excuse self. It must have 
renounced and abhorred all pleas and excuses in justification 
or extenuation of sin. Unless the soul ceases to justify self, 



FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 83 

it can not justify God, and unless it justifies God, it can not 
embrace the plan of salvation by Christ. A state of mind 
therefore that justifies God and condemns self, is always im- 
plied in evangelical faith. 

8. Disinterested benevolence, or a state of good will to 
being, is implied in evangelical faith. 

Evangelical faith is the committal of the soul to God and 
to Christ in all obedience. It must, therefore, imply fellow- 
ship or sympathy with Him in regard to the great end upon 
which his heart is set and for which he lives. A yielding up 
of the will and the soul to Him must imply the embracing of 
the same end that He embraces. 

9. It implies a state of the sensibility corresponding to 
the truths believed. It implies this, because this state of the 
sensibility is a result of faith by a law of necessity, and this 
result follows necessarily upon the intellect's perceiving and 
the heart's embracing Christ and his gospel. 

10. Of course it implies peace of mind. In Christ the 
soul finds its full and present salvation. It finds justification 
or a sense of pardon and acceptance. It finds sanctification 
or grace to deliver from the reigning power of sin. It finds 
all its wants met and all needed grace proffered for its assis- 
tance. It sees no cause for disturbance, nothing to ask or 
desire that is not treasured up in Christ. It has ceased to 
war with God — with itself. It has found its resting place in 
Christ, and rests in profound peace under the shadow of the 
Al mighty. 

11. It implies hope, as soon as the believing soul considers, 
that is, a hope of eternal life in and through Christ. It is 
impossible that the soul should embrace the gospel for itself 
and really accept of Christ without a hope of eternal life re- 
sulting from it by a necessary law. 

12. It implies joy in God and in Christ. Peter speaks of 
joy as the unfailing accompaniment of faith, as resulting from 
it. Speaking of christians he says, 1 Pet, i, 5 — 9, " Who 
are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, 
ready to be revealed in the last time: wherein ye greatly re- 
joice, though now for a season (if need be) ye are in heavi- 
ness through manifold temptations; that the trial of your 
faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, 
though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and 
honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom 
having not seen, je love; in whom, though now ye see him 



84 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full 
of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation 
of your souls." 

13. It implies zeal in the cause of Christ. Faith in Christ 
implies fellowship with Him in the great work of man's re- 
demption, and of course must imply zeal in the same cause 
for which Christ gave up his life. 

14. Evangelical faith must imply a general sympathy with 
Christ in respect to the affairs of his government. It must 
imply sympathy with his views of sin and of holiness — of 
sinners and of saints. It must imply a deep affection for 
and interest in Christ's people. 

15. It must imply a deep interest in his gospel and in its 
spread and reception among men. 

16. It must imply a consecration of heart, of time, of sub- 
stance, and of all to this great end. 

17. It must imply the existence in the soul of every virtue, 
because it is a yielding up of the whole being to the will of 
God. Consequently all the phases of virtue required by 
the gospel must be implied as existing either in a developed 
or in an undeveloped state, in every heart that truly receives 
Christ by faith. Certain forms or modifications of virtue may 
not in all cases have found the occasions of their develop- 
ment, but certain it is that every modification of virtue will 
manifest itself as its occasion shall arise if there be a true 
and a living faith in Christ. This follows from the very na- 
ture of faith. 

18. Present evangelical faith implies a state of present 
sinlessness. Observe: Faith is the yielding and committal of 
the whole will and of the whole being to Christ. This and 
nothing short of this is evangelical faith. But this compre- 
hends and implies the whole of present, true obedience to 
Christ. This is the reason why faith is spoken of as the 
condition and as it were the only condition, of salvation. It 
really implies all virtue. Faith may be contemplated either 
as a distinct form of virtue, and as an attribute of love, or as 
comprehensive of all virtue. When contemplated as an at- 
tribute of love, it is only a branch of sanctification. When 
contemplated in the wider sense of universal conformity of 
will to the will of God, it is then synonymous with entire 
present sanctification. Contemplated in either light its ex- 
istence in the heart must be inconsistent with present sin 
there. Faith is an attitude of the will, and is wholly incom- 
patible with present rebellion of will against Christ. This 
must be true, or what is faith? 



FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 85 

19. Faith implies the reception and the practice of all known 
or perceived truth. The heart that embraces and receives 
truth as truth and because it is truth, must of course receive 
all known truth. For it is plainly impossible that the will should 
embrace some truth perceived for a benevolent reason and 
reject other truth perceived. All truth is harmonious. One 
truth is always consistent with every other truth. The heart 
that truly embraces one, will for the same reason embrace 
all truth known. If out of regard to the highest good of be- 
ing any one revealed truth is truly received, that state of 
mind continuing, it is impossible that all truth should not be 
received as soon as known. 

IV. What unbelief is not. 

1. It is not ignorance of truth. Ignorance is a blank; it 
is the negation or absence of knowledge. This certainly can 
not be the unbelief every where represented in the Bible as a 
heinous sin. Ignorance may be a consequence of unbelief, 
but can not be identical with it. We may be ignorant of 
certain truths as a consequence of rejecting others, but this 
ignorance is not, and, as we shall see, can not be unbelief. 

2. Unbelief is not the negation or absence of faith. This 
were a mere nothing — a nonentity. But a mere nothing is 
not that abominable thing which the Scriptures represent as a 
great and a damning sin. 

3. It can not be a phenomenon of the intelligence or an in- 
tellectual skepticism. This state of the intelligence may re- 
sult from the state of mind properly denominated unbelief, 
but it can not be identical with it. Intellectual doubts or un- 
belief often does result from unbelief properly so called, but 
unbelief when contemplated as a sin, should never be con- 
founded with theoretic or intellectual infidelity. They are as 
entirely distinct as any two phenomena of mind whatever. 

4. It cannot consist in feelings or emotions of incredulity, 
doubt, or opposition to truth. In other words unbelief as a 
sin, can not be a phenomenon of the sensibility. The term 
unbelief is sometimes used to express or designate a state of 
the intelligence and sometimes of the sensibility. It some- 
times is used to designate a state of intellectual incredulity, 
doubt, distrust, skepticism. But when used in this sense mo- 
ral character is not justly predicable of the state of mind 
which the term unbelief represents. 

Sometimes the term expresses a mere feeling of incredulity 
in regard to truth. But neither has this state of mind moral 
8 



OQ SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

character; nor can it have, for the very good reason that it is in- 
voluntary. In short, the unbelief that is so sorely denounced 
in the Bible as a most aggravated abomination, can not con- 
sist in any involuntary state of mind whatever. 

V. What Unbelief is. 

- 1. The term as used in the Bible, in those passages that 
represent it as a sin, must designate a phenomenon of will. 
It must be a voluntary state of mind. It must be the opposite 
of evangelical faith. Faith is the will's reception and unbe- 
lief is the will's rejection of truth. Faith is the soul's con- 
fiding in truth and in the God of truth. Unbelief is the 
soul's withholding confidence from truth and the God of truth. 
It is the heart's rejection of evidence and a refusal to be in- 
fluenced by it. It is the will in the attitude of opposition to 
truth perceived, or evidence presented. It must be a volunta- 
ry state or attitude of the will as distinguished from a mere voli- 
tion or executive act of the will. Volition may and often 
does give forth through words and deeds, expressions and 
manifestations of unbelief. But the volition is only a result 
of unbelief and not identical with it. Unbelief is a deeper 
and more efficient state of mind than mere volition. It is the 
will in its profoundest opposition to the truth and will of 
God. 

VI. What is implied in unbelief. 

1. Unbelief implies light or the perception of truth. If 
unbelief were but a mere negation an absence of faith a qui- 
escent or inactive state of the will, it would not imply the per- 
ception of truth. But since unbelief consists in the will's re- 
jection of truth, the truth rejected must be perceived. For 
example : the heathen who have never heard of the gospel 
are not properly guilty of unbelief in not embracing it. 
They are indeed guilty of unbelief in rejecting the light of 
nature. They are entirely without the light of the gospel; 
that, therefore, they can not reject. The unbelief so much 
complained of in the Bible, is not ignorance, but a rejection 
of truth revealed. 

2. It implies obstinate selfishness. Indeed it is only one 
of the attributes of selfishness as we have seen on a former 
occasion. Selfishness is a spirit of self-seeking. It consists 
in the will's committing itself to self-gratification or self-in- 
dulgence. Now unbelief is only selfishness contemplated in 
its relations to the truth of God. It is only the resistance 



FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 87 

which the will makes to those truths that are opposed to sel- 
fishness. It is the will's stern opposition to them. When 
these truths are revealed to the intelligence, the will must ei- 
ther yield to them and relinquish selfishness, or it must resist 
them. Remain indifferent to them it can not. Therefore 
unbelief always implies selfishness, because it is only selfish- 
ness manifesting itself or acting like itself in the presence of 
truth opposed to it. 

3. Unbelief implies a state of present total depravity. 
Surely there can be nothing but sin in a heart that rejects the 
truth for selfish reasons. It is naturally impossible that there 
vshould be any conformity of heart to the will and law of God 
when unbelief or resistance to know truth is present in the 
soul. 

4. Unbelief implies the rejection of all truth perceived to 
be inconsistent with selfishness. The unbelieving soul does 
not, and remaining selfish, can not receive any truth but for 
selfish reasons. Whatever truth is received and acted upon 
by a selfish soul is received for selfish reasons. But this is not 
faith. Whatever truth the selfish soul can not apply to sel- 
fish purposes, it will reject. This follows from the very na- 
ture of selfishness. 

5. On a former occasion it was shown that where any one 
attribute of selfishness is, there must be the presence of every 
other attribute either in a developed state or in waiting for 
the occasion of its development. All sinners are guilty of 
unbelief and have this attribute of selfishness developed in 
proportion to the amount of light which they have received. 
Heathen reject the light of nature and sinners in christian 
lands reject the light of the gospel. The nature of unbelief 
proves that the unbelieving heart is not only void of all good, 
but that every form of sin is there. The whole host of the 
attributes of selfishness must reside in the unbeliever's heart 
and only the occasion is wanting to bring forth into develop- 
ment and horrid manifestation every form of iniquity. 

6. The nature of unbelief implies that its degree depends 
on the degree of light enjoyed. It consists in a rejection of 
truth perceived. Its degree or greatness must depend upon 
the degree of light rejected. 

7. The same must be true of the guilt of unbelief. The 
guilt must be in proportion to light enjoyed. But as the 
guilt of unbelief is to come up for distinct consideration, I 
will waive the further discussion of it here. 



88 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

8. Unbelief implies impenitence. The truly penitent soul 
will gladly embrace all truth when it is revealed to it. This 
follows from the nature of repentance. Especially will the 
true penitent hail with joy and embrace with eagerness the 
blessed truths of the glorious gospel. This must be from the 
very nature of repentance. When unbelief is present in the 
heart, there must be impenitence also. 

9. Unbelief is enmity against God. It is resistance to 
truth and of course to the character and government of 
the God of Truth. 

10. It implies mortal enmity against God. Unbelief re- 
jects the truth and authority of God and is of course and of 
necessity opposed to the very existence of the God of Truth. 
It would annihilate truth and the God of truth were it possi- 
ble. We have an instance and an illustration of this in the 
rejection and murder of Jesus Christ. What was this but 
unbelief. This is the nature of unbelief in all instances. 
All sinners who hear and reject the gospel, reject Christ, and 
were Christ personally present to insist upon their reception 
of him and to urge his demand, remaining unbelieving, they 
would of course and of necessity sooner murder him than re- 
ceive him. So that every rejecter of the gospel is guilty of 
the blood and murder of Christ. 

11. Unbelief implies surpreme enmity to God. This fol- 
lows from the nature of unbelief. Unbelief is the heart's 
rejection of and opposition to truth. Of course the greater 
the light, unbelief remaining, the greater the opposition. 
Since God is the fountain of truth opposition to him must be 
supreme. That is it must be greater to him than to all other 
beings and things. 

12. Unbelief implies a degree of wickedness as great as is 
possible for the time being. We have seen that it is resis- 
tance to truth; that it implies the refusal to receive for be- 
nevolent reasons any truth. Entire holiness is the reception of 
and conformity to all truth. This is, at every moment, the 
highest degree of virtue of which the soul for the time being 
is capable. It is the entire performance of duty. Sin, is the 
rejection of the whole truth, this is sin in the form of unbe- 
lief. The rejection of all known truth, or of all truth perceived 
to be inconsistent with selfishness, and for that reason, must 
be present perfection in wickedness. That is, it must be the 
highest degree of wickedness of which the soul with its pre- 
sent light is capable. It is the rejection of the whole of du-* 
ty. It is a trampling down of all moral obligation 



FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 



89 



13. Unbelief implies the charging God with being a liar. 
" He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar because 
he hath not believed the record that God gave of his Son." 
Unbelief is the treatment of truth as if it were falsehood, and 
of falsehood as if it were truth. It is the virtual declaration 
of the heart that the gospel is not true and therefore that the 
author of the gospel is a liar. It treats the record as untrue 
and of course God the author of the record as a liar. 

14. Unbelief implies lying. It is itself the greatest of 
lies. It is the heart's declaration, and that too in the face of 
light, and with the intellectual apprehension of the truth, 
that the gospel is a lie and the author of it a liar. What is 
lying if this is not? 

15. It implies a most reckless disregard of all rights and of 
all interests but those of self. 

16. It implies a contempt for and a trampling down of the 
law and demands of the intelligence. Intelligence in its re- 
lations to moral truths is only a trouble to the unbeliever. 
His conscience and his reason he regards as enemies. 

17. But before I dismiss this part of the subject, I must not 
omit to say that unbelief also implies the will's embracing an 
opposite error and a lie. It consists in the rejection of truth 
or in the withholding confidence in truth and in the God of 
truth. But since it is naturally impossible that the will should 
be in a state of indifference to any known error or truth that 
stands connected with its duty or its destiny, it follows that a 
rejection of any known truth implies an embracing of an 
opposing error. 

There, are multitudes of other things implied in unbe- 
lief; but I can not with propriety and profit notice them in 
this brief outline of instruction. I have pursued this subject 
thus far for the purpose of showing the true and philosophi- 
cal nature of unbelief; that whosoever will steadily contem- 
plate its nature, will perceive, that, being what it is, it will and 
must develope as occasions occur in the providence of God 
every form of iniquity of which man is capable, or in other 
words that where unbelief is, there is the whole of sin. 

VII. Conditions of both faith and unbelief. 

1. The possession of Reason. Reason is the intuitive fac- 
ulty of the soul. It is that power of the mind that makes 
those a priori affirmations concerning God which all moral 
agents do and must make from the very nature of moral agen- 

8* 



90 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



cy, and without which neither faith as a virtue, nor unbelief 
as a sin were possible. For example: Suppose it were ad- 
mitted that the Bible is a revelation from God. The question 
might be asked, why should we believe it? Why should we 
receive and believe the testimony of God? The answer must 
be, because truth is an attribute of God and his word is to be 
accredited because he always speaks the truth. But how do 
we know this? This we certainly can not know barely upon 
his testimony, for the very question is why is his testimony 
worthy of credit. There is no light in his works or provi- 
dence that can demonstrate that truth is an attribute of God. 
His claiming this attribute docs not prove it, for unless his 
truthfulness be assumed his claiming this attribute is no evi- 
dence of it. There is no logical process by which the truth 
of God can be demonstrated. The major premise from 
which the truthfulness of God could be deduced by a syllo- 
gistic process must itself assume the very truth which we are 
seeking to prove. Now there is no way for us to know the 
truthfulness of God but by the direct assumption, affirmation, 
or intuition of reason. The same power that intuits or sei- 
zes upon a major premise from which the truthfulness of God 
follows by the laws of logic, must and does directly, irresista- 
bly, necessarily and universally assume and affirm the fact that 
God is truth and that truth must be an attribute of God. 

But for this assumption the intelligence could not affirm 
our obligation to believe him. This assumption is a first-truth 
of reason, every where, at all times, by all moral agents ne- 
cessarily assumed and known. This is evident from the fact, 
that it being settled that God has declared any thing whatev- 
er, is an end of all questioning in all minds whether it be true 
or not. So far as the intelligence is concerned, it never did 
and never can question the truthfulness of God. It knows 
with certain and intuitive knowledge that God is true and 
therefore affirms universally and necessarily that He is to be 
believed. This assumption and the power that makes it are 
indispensable conditions of Faith as a virtue or of unbelief as 
a vice. It were no virtue to believe or receive any thing as 
true without sufficient evidence that it is true. So it were no 
vice to reject that which is not supported by evidence. A 
mere animal, or an idiot or lunatic are not capable either of 
faith or of unbelief, for the simple reason that they do not 
possess reason to affirm the truth and obligation to receive it. 

2. A revelation, in some way, to the mind, of the truth and 
will of God must be a condition of unbelief. Be it remem- 



FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 91 

bered that neither faith nor unbelief is consistent with total 
ignorance. There can be unbelief no farther than there is 
light. 

3. In respect to that class of truths which are discerned 
only upon condition of Divine illumination, such illumination 
must be a condition both of faith and unbelief. It should be 
remarked that when a truth has been once revealed by the 
Holy Spirit to the soul, the continuance of the Divine light 
is not essential to the continuance of unbelief. The truth 
once known and lodged in the memory may continue to be 
resisted when the agent that revealed, is withdrawn. 

4. Intellectual perception is a condition of the heart's un- 
belief. The intellect must have evidence of truth as the con- 
dition of a virtuous belief of it. So the intellect must have 
evidence of the truth as a condition of a wicked rejection of it. 
Therefore intellectual light is the condition both of the heart's 
faith and unbelief. By the assertion that intellectual light is 
a condition of unbelief is intended, not that the intellect 
should at all times admit the truth in theory; but that the evi- 
dence must be such that by virtue of its own laws the mind 
or intelligence could justly admit the truth rejected by the 
heart. It is a very common case that the unbeliever denies 
in words and endeavors to refute in theory that which he 
nevertheless assumes as true in all his practical judgments. 

VIII. The guilt and ill-desert of unbelief. 

1. We have seen on a former occasion that the guilt of sin 
is conditionated upon and graduated by the light under which it 
is committed. The amount of light is the measure of guilt 
in every case of sin. This is true of all sin. But it is pecu- 
liarly manifest in the sin of unbelief; for unbelief is the re- 
jection of light; it is selfishness in the attitude of rejecting 
truth. Of course the amount of light rejected and the de- 
gree of guilt in rejecting it are equal. This is every where 
assumed and taught in the bible and is plainly the doctrine of 
reason. 

Light is truth, light received is truth known or perceived^ 
The first-truths of reason are universally known by moral 
agents, and whenever the will refuses to act in accordance 
with any one of them, it is guilty of unbelief. The reason of 
every moral agent intuits and assumes the infinite value of 
the highest well-being of God and of the universe, and of 
course the infinite obligation of every moral agent, to embrace 



92 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

the truth as the necessary condition of promoting this end. 
Viewed in this light, unbelief always implies infinite guilt and 
blame-worthiness. 

But it is a doctrine of mathematics that infinites may differ. 
The meaning of the term infinite is simply the negation of finite* 
It is boundlessness, unlimitedness. That is, that which is in- 
finite is unlimited or boundless in the sense in which it is in- 
finite. But infinites may differ in amount. For example: 
the area contained between two lines of infinite length must 
be infinite in amount, however near these lines are to each 
other. There is no estimating the superficial amount of this 
area for in fact there is no whole to it. But we may suppose 
parallel lines of infinite length to be placed at different distan- 
ces from each other; but in every case the enlargement or di- 
minution of the distances between any two such lines would 
accordingly vary the space contained between them. The 
superficial contents would in every case be infinite and yet 
they would differ in amount according to the distances of the 
lines from each other. 

In every case unbelief involves infinite guilt in the sense 
just explained; and yet the guilt of unbelief may differ and 
must differ in different cases indefinitely in amount. 

The guilt of unbelief under the light of the gospel must be 
indefinitely greater than when merely the light of nature is 
rejected. The guilt of unbelief in cases where special Divine 
illumination has been enjoyed must be vastly and incalculably 
greater than where the mere light of the gospel has been en- 
joyed without a special enlightening of the Holy Spirit. 

The guilt of unbelief in one who has been converted and 
has known the love of God must be greater beyond compar- 
ison than that of an ordinary sinner. Those things that are 
implied in unbelief show that it must be one of the most try- 
ing abominations to God in the universe. It is the perfec- 
tion of all that is unreasonable, unjust, ruinous. It is infinite- 
ly slanderous and dishonorable to God and destructive to man 
and to all the interests of the kingdom of God. 

IX. Natural and governmental consequences op 

BOTH FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 

By natural consequences are intended consequences that 
flow from the constitution and laws of mind by a natural ne- 
cessity. By governmental consequences are intended those 
that result from the constitution, laws, and administration of 
moral government. 



FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 



93 



1. One of the natural consequences of faith is peace of 
conscience. When the will receives the truth and yields 
itself up to conformity to it, the conscience is satisfied with 
its present attitude, and the man becomes at peace with him- 
self. The soul is then in a state to really respect itself, and 
can as it were behold its own face without a blush. But 
faith in truth perceived, is the unalterable condition of a 
man's being at peace with himself. 

A governmental consequence of faith is peace with God: 
(1.) In the sense that God is satisfied with the present 
obedience of the soul. It is given up to be influenced by all 
truth, and this is comprehensive of all duty. Of course God 
is at peace with the soul so far as its present obedience is 
concerned. 

(2.) Faith governmentally results in peace with God in the 
sense of being a condition of pardon and acceptance. That 
is, the penalty of the law for past sins, is remitted upon con- 
dition of true faith in Christ. The soul not only needs pres- 
ent and future obedience as a necessary condition of peace 
with self; but it also needs pardon and acceptance on the 
part of the government for past sins as a condition of peace 
with God. But since the subject of justification or accep- 
tance with God is to come up as a distinct subject for con- 
sideration, I will not enlarge upon it here. 

2. Self-condemnation is one of the natural consequences 
of unbelief. Such are the constitution and laws of mind, 
that it is naturally impossible for the mind to justify the 
heart's rejection of truth. On the contrary, the conscience 
necessarily condemns such rejection and pronounces judg- 
ment against it. 

Legal condemnation is a necessary governmental conse- 
quence of unbelief. No just government can justify the re- 
jection of known truth. But on the contrary all just govern- 
ments must utterly abhor and condemn the rejection of 
truths and especially those truths that relate to the obedi- 
ence of the subject, and the highest well-being of the rulers 
and ruled. The government of God must condemn and ut- 
terly abhor all unbelief, as a rejection of those truths that 
are indispensable to the highest well-being of the universe. 

3. A holy or obedient life results from faith by a natural 
or necessary law. Faith is an act of will which controls the 
life by a law of necessity. It follows that when the heart 
receives or obeys the truth, the outward life must be con- 
formed to it, of course. 



94 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

4. A disobedient and unholy life results from unbelief also 
by a law of necessity. If the heart rejects the truth, the 
life will not be conformed to it of course. 

5. Faith will develop every form of virtue in the heart 
and life as their occasions shall arise. It consists in the 
committing of the will to truth and to the God of truth. Of 
co'urse as different occasions arise, faith will secure conform- 
ity to all truth on all subjects, and then every modification of 
virtue will exist in the heart and appear in the life as cir- 
cumstances in the providence of God shall develop them. 

6. Unbelief may be expected to develop resistance to all 
truth upon all subjects that conflict with selfishness; and 
hence nothing but selfishness in some form can restrain its 
appearing in any other and every other form possible or 
conceivable. It consists, be it remembered, in the heart's 
rejection of truth and of course implies the cleaving to error. 
The natural result of this must be the development in the 
heart and the appearance in the life of every form of selfish- 
ness that is not prevented by some other form. For exam- 
ple, avarice may restrain amativeness, intemperance, and 
many other forms of selfishness. 

7. Faith governmentally results in obtaining help of God. 
God may and does gratuitously help those who have no 
faith. But this is not a governmental result or act in God. 
But to the obedient He extends his governmental protection 
and aid. 

8. Faith is a necessary condition of, and naturally results 
in heart-obedience to the commandments of God. Without 
confidence in a governor, it is impossible honestly to give up 
the whole being in obedience to him. But implicit and uni- 
versal faith must result in implicit and universal obedience. 

9. Unbelief naturally because necessarily results in heart- 
disobedience to God. 

10. Faith naturally and necessarily results in all those 
lovely and delightful emotions and states of feeling of which 
they are conscious whose hearts have embraced Christ. I 
mean all those emotions that are naturally connected with 
the action of the will and naturally result from believing the 
blessed truths of the gospel. 

11. Unbelief naturally results in those emotions of remorse, 
regret, and of pain and agony which are the frequent expe- 
rience of the unbeliever. 

12. Faith lets God into the soul to dwell and reign there. 
Faith receives not only the atonement and mediatorial work 



FAITH AND UNBELIEF. 95 

of Christ as a redeemer from punishment, but it also receives 
Christ ai king to set up his throne and reign in the heart. 
Faith secures to the soul communion with God. 

13. Unbelief shuts God out of the soul in the sense of re- 
fusing his reign in the heart. 

It also shuts the soul out from an interest in his mediatori- 
al work. This results not from an arbitrary appointment, but 
is a natural consequence. Unbelief shuts the soul out from 
communion with God. 

These are hints at some of the natural and governmental 
consequences of Faith and Unbelief. They are designed not 
to exhaust the subject, but merely to call attention to topics 
which any one who desires may pursue at his pleasure. It 
should be here remarked that none of the ways, command- 
ments, or appointments of God are arbitrary. Faith is a 
naturally indispensable condition of salvation, which is the 
reason of its being made a governmental condition. Unbe- 
lief renders salvation naturally impossible: it must therefore 
render it governmentally impossible. 



LECTURE LIII. 

OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 

Christ is represented in the gospel as sustaining to men 
three classes of relations. 

1. Those which are purely governmental. 

2. Those which are purely spiritual. 

3. Those which unite both these. 

We shall at present consider Him as Christ our Justifica- 
tion. I shall show, 

I. What gospel justification is not. 

II. What it is. 

III. Point out the conditions of gospel justification. 

IV. Show what is the foundation of gospel justifi- 
cation. 

i. i am to show what gospel justification is not. 

There is scarcely any question in theology that has been 
incumbered with more fiction and technical mysticism than 
that of justification. 

Justification is the pronouncing of one just. It may be 
done in words, or practically by treatment. Justification 
must be in some sense a governmental act; and it is of im- 
portance to a right understanding of gospel justification to 
inquire whether it be an act of the judicial, the executive, or 
the legislative department of government; that is, whether gos- 
pel justification consists in a strictly judicial or forensic pro- 
ceeding, or whether it consists in pardon, or setting aside the 
execution of an incurred penalty and is therefore properly 
cither an executive or a legislative act. We shall see that 
the settling of this question is of great importance in theolo- 
gy; and as we view this subject, so, if consistent, we must 
view many important and highly practical questions in theo- 
logy. This leads me to say, 

1. That gospel justification is not to be regarded as a fo- 
rensic or judicial proceeding. Dr. Chalmers and those of 
his school hold that it is. But this is certainly a great mis- 
take, as we shall see. 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 97 

The term forensic is from forum, a court. A forensic proceed- 
ing belongs to the judicial department of government, whose bu- 
siness it is to ascertain the facts and declare the sentence of the 
law. This department has no power over the law, but to pro- 
nounce judgment in accordance with its true spirit and meaning. 
Courts never pardon, or set aside the execution of penalties. 
This does not belong to them, but either to the executive or 
to the law-making department. Oftentimes, this power in hu- 
man governments,is lodged in the head of the executive depart- 
ment, who is generally at least, a branch of the legislative pow- 
er of government. But never is the power to pardon exercised 
by the judicial department. The condition of a judicial or 
forensic justification invariably is and must be, universal obedi- 
ence to law. If but one crime or breach of law is alledged 
and proved, the court must inevitably condemn, and can in no 
such case justify or pronounce the accused just. Gospel jus- 
tification is the justification of sinners; it is, therefore, natural- 
ly impossible and a most palpable contradiction to affirm that 
the justification of a sinner or of one who has violated the 
law, is a forensic or judicial justification. That only is or 
can be a legal or forensic justification that proceeds upon 
the ground of its appearing that the justified person is guilt- 
less, or, in other words, that he has not violated the law, that 
he has done only what he had a legal right to do. Now it is 
certainly nonsense to affirm that a sinner can be pro- 
nounced just in the eye of law; that he can be justified by 
deeds of law or by the law at all. The law condemns him. 
But to be justified judicially or forensically is to be pronoun- 
ced just in the judgment of law. This certainly is an im- 
possibility in respect to sinners. The Bible is as express as 
possible on this point. Romans iii: 20; w Therefore by the 
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: 
for by the law is the knowledge of sin." 

It is proper to say here that Dr. Chalmers and those of 
his school do not intend that sinners are justified by their own 
obedience to law, but by the perfect and imputed obedience 
of Jesus Christ. They maintain that by reason of the obe- 
dience to law which Christ rendered when on earth being 
set down to the credit of sinners and imputed to them, the 
law regards them as having rendered perfect obedience in 
him, or regards them as having perfectly obeyed by proxy, 
and therefore pronounces them just upon condition of faith 
in Christ. This they insist is properly a forensic or judicial 
9 



98 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

justification. But this subject will come up more appropriate- 
ly under another head. 

II. What is gospel justification. 

1. It consists not in the laws pronouncing the sinner just, 
but in his being ultimately governmentally treated as if he 
were just, that is, it consists in a governmental decree of par- 
don or amnesty — in arresting and setting aside the execution 
of the incurred penalty of law — in pardoning and restoring to 
favor those who have sinned and those whom the. law had pro- 
nounced guilty and upon whom it had passed the sentence of 
eternal death. It is an act either of the law-making or exec- 
utive department of government, and is an act entirely aside 
from and contrary to the forensic or judicial power or depart- 
ment of government. It is an ultimate treatment of the sin- 
ner as just, a practical not a literal pronouncing of him 
just. It is treating him as if he had been wholly righteous 
when in fact he has greatly sinned. In proof of this position 
I remark, 

(1.) That this is most unequivocally taught in the Old 
Testament scriptures. The whole system of sacrifices 
taught the doctrine of pardon upon the conditions of Atone- 
ment, Repentance, and Faith. This under the old dispensation 
is constantly represented as a merciful acceptance of the peni- 
tents and never as a forensic or judicial acquittal or justifica- 
tion of them. The mercy seat covered the law in the ark of 
the covenant. Paul informs us what justification was in the 
sense in which the Old Testament saints understood it, in 
Romans iv: 6 — 8; u Even also as David describeth the bles- 
sedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness 
without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are 
forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man 
to whom the Lord will not impute sin." This quotation 
from David shows both what David and what Paul understood 
by justification, to wit, the pardon and acceptance of the 
penitent sinner. 

(2.) The New Testament fully justifies and establishes this 
view of the subject as we shall abundantly see under anoth- 
er head. 

(3.) Sinners can not possibly be justified in any other sense. 
Upon certain conditions they may be pardoned and treated as 
just But for sinners to be forensically pronounced just i* 
impossible and absurd. 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 99 

III. Conditions of justification. 

As has been already said there can be no justification in a 
legal or forensic sense, but upon condition of universal, per- 
fect, and uninterrupted obedience to law. This is of course 
denied by those who hold that gospel justification or the jus- 
tification of penitent sinners, is of the nature of a forensic or 
judicial justification. They hold to the legal maxim that 
what a man does by another he does by himself, and there- 
fore the law regards Christ's obedience as ours on the ground 
that he obeyed for us. To this I reply, 

1. The legal maxim just repeated does not apply except in 
cases where one acts in behalf of another by his own con- 
sent, which was not the case with the obedience of Christ; 
and, 

2. The doctrine of an imputed righteousness or that Christ's 
obedience to the law was accounted as our obedience, is foun- 
ded on a most false and nonsensical assumption; to wit, 
that Christ owed no obedience to the law in his own person, 
and that therefore his obedience was altogether a work of su- 
pererogation, and might be made a substitute for our own 
obedience; that it might be set down to our credit, because 
he did not need to obey for himself. 

I must here remark that justification respects the moral 
law; and that it must be intended that Christ owed no obe- 
dience to the moral law, and therefore his obedience to 
this law being wholly a work of supererogation, is set down 
to our account upon condition of faith in him. But surely 
this is an infinite mistake. We have seen that the spirit of 
the moral law requires good will to God and the universe. 
Was Christ under no obligation to do this? Nay, was he 
not rather under infinite obligation to be perfectly benevolent? 
Was it possible for him to be more benevolent than the law 
requires God and all beings to be? Did he not owe en- 
tire consecration of heart and life to the highest good of uni- 
versal being? If not, then benevolence in him were no virtue 
for it would not be a compliance with moral obligation. It 
was naturally impossible for him, and is naturally impossible 
for any being to perform a work of supererogation, that is, to 
be more benevolent than the moral law requires him to be. 
This is and must be as true of God as it is of any other be- 
ing. Would not Christ have sinned had he not been perfect- 
ly benevolent? If he would, it follows that he owed obedience 
to the law as really as any other being. Indeed a being that 



100 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

owed no obedience to the moral law must be wholly incapa- 
ble of virtue, for what is virtue but obedience to the moral 
law? 

But if Christ owed personal obedience to the moral law, 
then his obedience could no more than justify himself. It can 
never be imputed to us. He was bound for himself to love 
God with all his heart and soul and mind and strength, and 
his neighbor as himself. He did no more than this. He 
could do no more. It was naturally impossible, then, 
for him to obey in our behalf. This doctrine of the 
imputation of Christ's obedience to the moral law to us, 
is based upon the absurd assumptions, (1.) That the moral 
law is founded in the arbitrary will of God, and (*2.) That of 
course Christ, as God, owed no obedience to it; both of which 
assumptions arc absurd. But if these assumptions are giv- 
en up, what becomes of the doctrine of an imputed righteous- 
ness as a condition of a forensic justification? "It vanishes 
into thin air." 

There are, however, valid conditions of justification. The 
vicarious sufferings or atonement of Christ is a condition of 
justification or of the pardon and acceptance of penitent sin- 
ners. That Christ's sufferings and especially his death was 
vicarious, has been abundantly shown when treating the 
subject of atonement. I need not repeat here what I said 
there. Although Christ owed perfect obedience to the moral 
law for himself and could not, therefore, obey as our substi- 
tute, yet since he perfectly obeyed, he owed no suffering to 
the law or to the Divine government on his own account. He 
could therefore suffer for us. That is, he could to answer gov- 
ernmental purposes substitute his death for the infliction of 
the penalty of the law on us. He could not perform works 
of supererogation, but he could endure sufferings of superero- 
gation in the sense that he did not owe them for himself. 
The doctrine of substitution in the sense just named appears 
every where in both Testaments. It is the leading idea, the 
prominent thought lying upon the face c>{ the whole scriptures. 
Let the few passages that follow serve as specimens of the 
class that teach this doctrine : 

Lev. 17: 11. For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I 
have given it to you upon the altar, to make an atonement for 
your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for 
the soul. 

Is. 53: 5. Blithe was wounded for our transgressions, he 
was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 101 

was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6. All we 
like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his 
own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us 
all. 11. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be 
satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify 
many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 

Matt. 20: 18. Even as the Son of man came not to be min- 
istered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for 
many. 

26: 28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which 
is shed for many for the remission of sins. 

Jn. 3: 14. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wil- 
derness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; 15. That 
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eter- 
nal life. 

6: 51. I am the living bread which came down from hea- 
ven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and 
the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for 
the life of the world. 

Acts 20: 28. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to 
all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you 
overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purcha- 
sed with his own blood. 

Rom. 3: 24. Being justified freely by his grace, through 
the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 25. Whom God hath 
set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to 
declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are 
past, through the forbearance of God; 26. To declare, I say 
at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the 
justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 

5: 6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time 
Christ died for the ungodly. 7. For scarcely for a righteous 
man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some 
would even dare to die. 8. But God commendeth his love 
toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for 
us. 9. Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved 
from wrath through him. 11. And not only so, but we also 
joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have 
now received the atonement. 18. Therefore, as by the of- 
fence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, 
even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon 
all men unto justification of life. 19. For as by one man's 
disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience 
of one shall many be made righteous. 
9* 



102 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

1 Cor. 5: 7. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. 

15: 3. Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. 

Gal. 2: 20. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, Hive; 
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now 
live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who 
loved me, and gave himself for me. 
* 3: 13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, 
being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every 
one that hangeth on a tree; 14. That the blessing of Abra- 
ham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that 
we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 

Eph. 2: 13. But now, in Christ Jesus, ye, who sometimes 
were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 

5: 2. And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and 
hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God 
for a sweet-smelling savor. 

Heb. 9: 12. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but 
by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, hav- 
ing obtained eternal redemption for us. 13. For if the blood 
of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling 
the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; 14. How 
much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eter- 
nal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your 
conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 22. 
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and 
without shedding of blood is no remission. 23. 7/ was there- 
fore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens 
should be purified with these; but the heavenly things them- 
selves with belter sacrifices than these. 24. For Christ is 
not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are 
the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear 
in the presence of God for us: 25. Nor yet that he should 
offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy 
■place every year with blood of others; 26. For then must he 
often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but 
now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put 
away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27. And as it is 
appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; 
28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. 

10: 10. By the which we are sanctified through the of- 
fering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11. And ev- 
ery priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes 
the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12. But 
this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 103 

sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth ex- 
pecting till his enemies be made his foot-stool. 14. For by 
one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sancti- 
fied. 19. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the 
holiest by the blood of Jesus, 2D. By a new and living way, 
which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to 
say, his flesh. 

1 Fet. 1: 18. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not re- 
deemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your 
vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 
19. But with the precious blood of Christ. 

2; 24. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on 
the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto right- 
eousness; by whose stripes ye are healed. 

3: 18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just 
for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to 
death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. 

1 Jn. 1: 7. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light 
we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Je- 
sus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 

3: 5. And ye know that he was manifested to take away 
our sins. 

4: 9. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, be- 
cause that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that 
we might live through him. 10. Herein is love, not that we 
loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the 
propitiation for our sins. 

These and many such like passages establish the fact be- 
yond question that the vicarious atonement of Christ is a con- 
dition of our pardon and acceptance with God. 

2. Repentance is also a condition of our justification. It 
must be certain that the government of God can not pardon 
sin without repentance. This is as truly a doctrine of natural 
as of revealed religion. It is self-evident that until the sinner 
breaks off from sins by repentance or turning to God, he can 
not be justified in any sense. This is every where assumed, 
implied, and taught in the Bible and in every part of it. No 
reader of the Bible can call this in question, and it were a 
useless occupancy of your time to quote passages as they 
every where abound. 

3. Faith in Christ is another condition of justification. We 
have already examined into the nature and necessity of faith. 
I fear that there has been much of error in the conceptions 
of many upon this subject. They have talked of justification 



104 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

by [faith as if they supposed that by an arbitrary appoint- 
ment of God faith was the condition and the only condition of 
justification. This seems to be the antinomian view. The 
class of persons alluded to speak of justification by faith as 
if it were by faith and not by Christ through faith that the 
penitent sinner is justified; as if faith and not Christ were 
our justification. They seem to regard faith not as a natural, 
but as a mystical condition of justification; as bringing us 
into a covenant and mystical relation to Christ, in consequence 
of which his righteousness or personal obedience is imputed 
to us. We have seen that repentance as well as faith is a 
condition of justification. We shall see that sanctification 
and perseverance in obedience to the end of life are also con- 
ditions of justification. Faith is often spoken of in scripture 
as if it were the sole condition of salvation, because, as we 
have seen, from its very nature it implies repentance and every 
virtue. 

That faith is a naturally necessary condition of justifica- 
tion we have seen. Let the following passages of scripture 
serve as examples of the manner in which the scriptures 
speak upon this subject : 

Mark 16: 15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the 
world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 19. He that 
believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that be- 
lieveth not, shall be damned. 

Jn. 1: 12. As many as received him, to them gave he 
power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe 
on his name. 

3: 16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only 
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not 
perish, but have everlasting life. 36. He that believeth on 
the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the 
Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. 

6: 28. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we 
might work the works of God? 29. Jesus answered and 
said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on 
him whom he hath sent. 40. This is the will of him that sent 
me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on 
him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the 
last day. 

8: 24. If ye believe not that I am Ae, ye shall die in your 
sins. 44. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of 
your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning 
and abode not in the truth: because there is no truth in him. 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 105 

47. He that is of God, heareth God's words; ye therefore 
hear them not, because ye are not of God. 

11: 25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the 
life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall 
he live; 26. And whosoever liveth, and believeth in me, shall 
never die. 

Acts 10: 43. To him give all the prophets witness, that 
through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive 
remission of sins. 

16: 31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt 
be saved, and thy house. 

Rom. 4: 5. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on 
him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for right- 
eousness. 

10: 4. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to 
every one that believeth. 

Gal. 2: 16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the 
works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we 
have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by 
the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by 
the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 

2 Th. 2: 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteous- 
ness in them that perish; because they received not the love 
of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this 
cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should 
believe a lie; 12. That they all might be damned who be- 
lieved not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 

Heb. 11:6. Without faith it is impossible to please Mm; 
for he thatcometh to God must believe that he is, and that he 
is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 

1 Jn 2: 23. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not 
the Father; (but he that acknowledged the Son hath the 
Father also.) 

1 Jn 5: 10. He that believeth on the Son of God hath 
the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made 
him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave 
of his Son. 11. And this is the record, that God hath given 
to us eternal life; and this life is in his Son. 12. He that hath 
the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath 
not life. 13. These things have I written unto you that be- 
lieve on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that 
ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of 
the Son of God. 



106 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

4. Sanctification is another condition of justification. 
Some theologians have made justification a condition of sanc- 
tification instead of making sanctification a condition of jus- 
tification. But this we shall see is an erroneous view of the 
subject. The mistake is founded in a misapprehension of 
the nature both of justification and of sanctification. They 
make sanctification to consist in something else than in the 
will's entire subjection or consecration to God; and justifica- 
tion they regard as a forensic transaction conditionated on the 
first act of faith in Christ. Whole-hearted obedience to God 
or entire conformity to his law they regard as a very rare, 
and many of them, as an impractical attainment in this life. 
Hence they conditionate justification upon simple faith, not 
regarding faith as at all implying present conformity of heart 
to the law of God. It would seem from the use of language 
that they lay very little stress upon personal holiness as a 
condition of acceptance with God. But, on the contrary, they 
suppose the mystical union of the believer with Christ obtains 
for him access and acceptance by virtue of an imputed right- 
eousness and not at all upon condition of his personal present 
entire obedience induced by the spirit of Christ living and 
reigning within him. If this view of the subject be correct, 
it follows that God justifies sinners, not upon condition of their 
ceasing to sin, but while they continue to sin by virtue of 
their being regarded by the law as perfectly obedient in 
Christ the covenant and mystical head; that is, that although 
they indulge in more or less sin continually and are never at 
any moment in this life entirely obedient to his law, yet God 
accounts them righteous because Christ obeyed for them. 
Another class of theologians hold, not to an imputed right- 
eousness, but that God pardons and accepts the sinner not 
upon condition of present entire obedience, which obedience 
is induced by the indwelling spirit of Christ, but upon the 
condition that he believe in Christ. Neither of these classes 
make sanctification, or entire, present obedience a condition 
of justification, but on the contrary both regard and repre- 
sent justification as a condition of sanctification. We have 
seen what justification is, let us enquire in a few words what 
sanctification is. To sanctify is to set apart, to consecrate to 
a particular use. To sanctify any thing to God is to set it 
apart to his service, to consecrate it to him. To sanctify one's 
self is to voluntarily set one's self apart, to consecrate one's 
self to God. To be sanctified is to be set apart, to be con- 
secrated to God. Sanctification is an act or state of being 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 107 

sanctified or set apart to the service of God. It is a state of 
consecration to him. This is present obedience to the moral 
law. It is the whole of present duty and is implied in Re- 
pentance, Faith, Regeneration, as we have abundantly seen. 

Sanctification is sometimes used to express a permanent 
state of obedience to God, or of consecration. In this sense 
it is not a condition of present justification or of pardon and 
acceptance. But it is a condition of continued and perma- 
nent acceptance with God. It certainly can not be true that 
God accepts and justifies the sinner in his sins. I may safely 
challenge the world for either reason or scripture to support 
the doctrine of justification in sin, in any degree of present 
rebellion against God. The Bible every where represents 
justified persons as sanctified and always expressly or impli- 
edly conditionates justification upon sanctification. 1 Cor. 
6: 11. '•And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but 
ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the 
Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.' This is but a 
specimen of the manner in which justified persons are spo- 
ken of in the Bible. Also, Rom. 8: 1, ; There is therefore 
now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, 
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.' They 
only are justified who walk after the Spirit. Should it be 
objected, as it may be, that the scriptures often speak of 
saints or truly regenerate persons as needing sanctification 
and of sanctification as something that comes after regene- 
ration and as that which the saints are to aim at attaining, I 
answer, that when sanctification is thus spoken of, it is 
doubtless used in the higher sense already noticed; to wit, to 
denote a state of being settled, established in faith, rooted 
and grounded in love, being so confirmed in the faith and 
obedience of the gospel as to hold on in the way steadfast- 
ly, unmovably, always abounding in the work of the Lord. 
This is doubtless a condition of permanent justification, as 
has been said, but not a condition of present justification,, 

By sanctification's being a condition of justification, the 
following things are intended. 

(1.) That present, full, and entire consecration of heart 
and life to God and his service is an unalterable condition of 
present pardon of past sin, and of present acceptance with 
God. 

(2.) That the penitent soul remains justified no longer than 
this full hearted consecration continues. 



108 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGV. 

But since this is a fundamental question in theology, I have 
obtained leave of Prof. Morgan to insert in this place his ar- 
ticle on the holiness acceptable to God. This will be more 
satisfactory perhaps than any thing I could say inasmuch as 
I should be obliged to quote the same scriptures, and about in 
the same order. 

" <■ Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow my- 
self before the High God?' This has in all ages been the 
solemn and anxious inquiry of earnest souls. It is the ques- 
tion of one who has sinned — the question, however, of hope 
and not of despair — the question of one who conceives that 
perhaps the High and Holy One may be acceptably ap- 
proached. But the inquiry presupposes, that whatever God 
may have done, may be doing, or ready to do for his salva- 
tion, the inquirer has a personal responsibility which he must 
meet, that there are conditions which he must fulfill. What 
shall I do to inherit eternal life? The question recognizes 
the moral agency of the inquirer, and the necessity of its ap- 
propriate exercise. 

It is admitted by all, except utter antinomians, that some 
degree of holiness or conformity to the divine law, is indis- 
pensable to acceptance with God. No one, we think, would 
refuse to unite with the venerable Westminster Confession in 
the statement that 'repentance, by which a sinner so grieves 
for and hates his sins as to turn from them all to God, pur- 
posing and endeavoring to walk with him in all the ways of 
his commandments, is of such necessity to all sinners, that 
none may expect pardon without it.' Still the majority of 
the church would doubtless, with the Larger Westminster 
Catechism, maintain that the 'best works' of God's accepted 
saints, ' are imperfect and defiled in the sight of God.' The 
celebrated Dr. Beecher in his recent letter on Perfection, 
exhibits the theory which he has embraced on the subject. 
We will quote a few of his questions and answers. 

• Question 1. What takes place in regeneration ? 

Answer. The reconciliation of an enemy to God; submission to his will; 
jove to God more than to all creatures and all things. In its commencement, 
this love is feeble compared with ' all the heart, mind, soul and strength,' accord- 
ing to the moral law; and to qualify for heaven, must be progressively augment- 
ed through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. 

Q.2. How can the help of Christ be obtained, to secure our growth in grace? 

A. By renouncing all reliance upon our own strength and merits, and rely- 
ing entirely on the sufficiency and willingness of Christ to help us, sought by 
filial supplication, and the diligent use of the appointed means of grace; striving, 
as the Puritan writers say, as if all depended on ourselves, and looking to Christ 
as if all depended on him. 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 109 

Q. 3. What will be the effect of such a prayerful reliance upon Christ, in the 
diligent use of the means of grace ? 

A. Not perfection; for faith can be no more perfect than the love which ani- 
mates it; and not including love with all the heart, and mind, and soul, and 
strength, is always an implication of defect needing an advocate and pardon. The 
child who cannot go a step alone, may as well exult in the claim of perfect man- 
hood, as those who can do nothing without Christ, in the claim of perfection. 
But the result will be that they will grow in grace till they die, going from 
strength to strength, till they all appear in Zion before God.' 

The doctrine of these extracts clearly is, not simply that 
the love of a new-born saint is feeble compared with that of 
an advanced Christian, but that it is less than the moral law 
requires, and therefore sinfully defective. These extracts 
also teach that 'the most prayerful reliance on Christ, and 
the most diligent use of the means of grace' ever practised 
in this life, never produce an obedience which does not itself, 
on account of sinful defect, need pardon. In these views Dr. 
B. coincides with the representation of the Westminster Con- 
fession, that 'they who in their obedience attain to the 
greatest height which is possible in this life, * * fall short 
in much which in duty they are bound to do.' 

We propose in the present article to seek a scriptural an- 
swer to the inquiry, Is any degree of holiness acceptable to 
God, which, for the time being, falls short of full obedience to 
the divine law? We put the question into the most general 
form, intending it to apply to both the accepted holiness of 
the new-born soul and the holiness of the most mature 
Christian. 

1. In order to an intelligent answer to this inquiry, we 
must first determine what the requirements of the law are, 
and in what phraseology they are couched. 

(1.) In Deut. 6: 5, we find the first table of the law ex- 
pressed in the fullest form that occurs in the Old Testament: 
' Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and 
with all thy soul, and with all thy might? It is remarkable 
that this emphatic mode of expression occurs, in the form o 
a command, no where else in the Old Testament; but it i- 
once strikingly referred to in the historic account of the 
character of Josiah, 2 Kings 23: 25. The passage is quoted. 
Matt. 22: 37, Mark 12: 3, and Luke 10: 27, with some dif- 
ference of words, but manifestly with no modification oi 
meaning. The emphasis obviously lies in the words which 
we have marked by italic. 

(2.) We have, Deut. 10: 12, 13, somewhat different lan- 
guage: 'And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God rc- 
10 



110 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

quire of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all 
his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, to keep the command- 
ments of the Lord and his statutes, which I command thee 
this day for thy good?' The whole spirit of this passage 
would be expressed in the words: '•What doth the Lord thy 
God require of thee but to love the Lord thy God with all 
thy heart, and with all thy soul?' The rest is added to make 
the passage more impressive, and perhaps also to indicate 
the important truth that inward obedience manifests itself in 
the external conduct. It is the doctrine of Paul, Rom. 13: 
8—10, that 'he that loveth hath fulfilled the law;' and this is 
the doctrine also, so far as we know, of the whole Christian 
church. The above-quoted passage omits the expression. 
'•with all thy might,' and yet the introductory words show 
that the whole content of the law is given. The phraseolo- 
gy, 'with all thy heart and with all thy soul,' is employed, 
we believe, where emphasis is intended, more frequently 
than any other formula, to designate the demand of the law. 

(3.) We find, 1 Sam. 12: 20—24, the words, 'Turn not 
aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all 
your heart. — Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with 
all your heart. 1 Here the phrases, ' with all your might,' and 
1 with all your soul,' are both omitted, and yet who can rea- 
sonably doubt that the prophet meant, in the use of the 
phrase, '■with all the heart, 1 to enjoin full obedience to the law? 

It is, perhaps, worth noticing, that in passages which ex- 
hibit the emphatic phraseology before us, wherever any of 
the phrases are omitted, it is always those that come last. It 
is always, 'with all the heart and soul,' or, 'with all the 
heart,' — never, ' with all the might,' — 'with all the soul,' or 
'with all the soul and might,' — which may perhaps lead us 
to conclude that the omitted words were in the writer's or 
speaker's mind, find in the minds of his Israelitish readers 
or hearers, just as with us, the whole of a familiar verse or 
even hymn is frequently referred to, when we mention only 
the first line. 

(4.) In Micah 6: 8, all duty is denoted without the use of 
any emphatic phraseology: 'He hath showed thee, O man, 
what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but 
to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy 
God!' The first part of the concluding interrogation, plainly 
shows that the whole compass of the divine commands is ex- 
hibited. 






OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. Ill 

(5.) The above-cited passages present the divine law chief- 
ly in its relations to God. The precept, 4 Thou shalt love 
thy neighbor as thyself,' occurs in the Old Testament only 
Lev. 19: 18. In the New Testament it is quoted as contain- 
ing the sum of all the law with respect to our fellow men. 
But though in the ten commandments and in the other pre- 
cepts of the law, the language of equality and impartiality is 
omitted, it is always to be understood — an affirmation, which 
in relation to the second table of the ten commandments, we 
presume no one will deny. For an equally cogent reason, in 
the first table, and in all other commands which relate to the 
Most High, the expressions are to be understood which de- 
note the engagement of all our powers of heart, soul, and 
might. David adopted this rule of interpretation in his 
charge to Solomon, 1 Kings 2: 2 — 4. Referring to the 
promise and its conditions, recorded Ps. 132: 12, and else- 
where in similar language, the dying prophet says, t I go the 
way of all the earth: be thou strong, therefore, and show 
thyself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord thy God, 
to walk in his ways * * that the Lord may continue his word 
which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take 
heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their 
heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee a man 
on the throne of Israel.' The original condition of the 
promise did not contain the emphatic expression, l with all 
the heart and with all the soul,' but the inspired interpreter 
supplies it as being understood. Indeed, it is an obviously 
just rule of construction, that when several passages refer to 
the same thing, some of them in more, and others in less 
specific language, the more specific passages should govern 
the interpretation of the less specific. 

Perhaps some of the preceding observations might have 
been spared, inasmuch as it is generally admitted that the for- 
mulas, L with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all the 
might,' 'with all the heart and with all the soul,' and 'with 
all the heart,' universally have the meaning contended for. 
They are considered as equivalent, though more or less em- 
phatic modes of expressing the full requirement of the law. 
To make the less emphatic expressions mean less than the 
others, is to ascribe to them an utter indefiniteness, not to 
say that it would make them involve a license to commit 
some degree of sin. 

The language of the law plainly shows that it concerns 
itself with nothing else than the voluntary inward state or 



112 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

actions of men. If it makes mention of external actions, it is 
only as the necessary manifestations of the inward voluntary 
state. When the voluntary slate or action of the heart is 
right, the law has no further demand. It commands nothing 
but love, — it forbids nothing but its opposite. It knows 
nothing of any other holiness than love, under it, behind it, 
or causative of it. It has no complacency in any thing but 
love, be it found in whatever being it may, man or angel. 
Nor is there any depravity, corruption, bias, evil nature, 
or any thing else of whatever name, with which it is offend- 
ed or displeased, in man or devil, except the voluntary exclu- 
sion of love, or the indulgence of its opposite. Disobedience 
on the one hand, and obedience on the other, are the 
only moral entities known to the Scriptures, or of which 
the law of God takes the least cognizance. It demands 
nothing but cordial obedience — it forbids nothing but cordial 
disobedience. We say not that there may not be inward 
occasions of sin as well as outward temptations; nor do we 
say there may not be inward influences impelling to holiness 
as well as external persuasives; but we do say that the law 
of God takes no cognizance of either the one or the other. 
It concerns itself with nought but the inward voluntary state 
or action of the moral agent. We are aware that we might 
have said all this in a single sentence; but we chose to say 
over and over again in different words, what we deem a very 
important and obvious Scripture doctrine, because it is de- 
nied or misunderstood by many good men. 

The doctrine we have thus laid down, agrees with that 
which President Edwards urges in his Treatise on the Will, 
Part III. Sec. IV. '•H there be any sort of act or exertion 
of the soul, prior to all free acts of the will or acts of choice 
in the case, directing and determining what the acts of the 
will shall be, that act or exertion of the soul cannot proper- 
ly be subject to command or precept in any respect whatso- 
ever, either directly or indirectly, immediately or remotely. 
Such acts cannot he subject to commands directly* because 
they are no acts of the will; being by the supposition prior 
to all acts of the will, determining and giving rise to all its 
acts: they not being acts of the will, there can be in them 
no consent to, or compliance with, any command. Neither 
can they be subject to command indirectly or remotely; for 
they are not so much as the effect or consequences of the will, 
being prior to its acts. So that if there be any obedience in 
that original act of the soul, determining all volitions, it is an 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 113 

act of obedience wherein the will has no concern at all; it 
preceding every act of will. And therefore, if the soul 
either obevs or disobeys in this act, it is wholly involuntary; 
there is no willing obedience or rebellion, no compliance or 
opposition of will in the affair: and what sort of obedience 
or rebellion is this?' 

Well would it have been for theology, if all that the great 
and good Edwards wrote had been in harmony with the 
manifest good sense of this passage. 

2. Having thus considered the various phraseology in 
which the law of God is delivered, we proceed more directly 
to the question, whether full obedience to its requisitions, is 
a condition of acceptance with God. Those who believe 
that l the best works of justified persons are defiled in the 
sight of God,' cannot believe that full obedience to the di- 
vine law is a present condition of the divine favor. They 
may believe that the law has various salutary uses to the 
saints, but, on their scheme of doctrine, one of those uses 
cannot be to tell them what they must do to inherit eternal 
life. 

But inasmuch as some of these passages manifestly speak 
of the holiness they enjoin as a condition of justification be- 
fore God, it may be imagined by some that they treat not of 
the justification of those who have ever sinned, but of legal 
justification for those only who practise from the beginning 
of life an unbroken obedience, in order that sinners may see 
their need of mercy and grace, and flee for refuge to Christ. 

(1.) But nothing can be plainer than it is, that such passa- 
ges as Micah 6: 8, speak of a condition on which sinners 
may approach God acceptably. A serious inquirer is intro- 
cuced as asking, l Wherewith shall I come before the Lord 
and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before 
him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? Will 
the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with tens of 
thousands of rivers of oil! Shall I give my first-born for my 
transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?' 
Can any thing be more manifest than it is, that these are the 
questions of a sinner? 

Let us hear again the answer of the inspired prophet; l He 
hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the 
Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, 
«nd to walk humbly with thy God?' He presents to him 
the whole compass of duty, and encourages him with no hint 
that he mav come before the Lord and bow himself before 
10* 



114 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

the High God with a partial performance of it. What a 
strange change would be introduced into such passages if 
qualifying words were to be inserted. ' What doth the Lord 
require of thee but partially to do justice, to love mercy 
with sinful defect, and in an imperfect degree to walk hum- 
bly with thy God?' Are we to construe Is. i: 16 — 17, thus: 
"If you would have your worship accepted, wash you in part, 
make you in some good degree clean; put away in the great- 
er part the evil of your doings from before mine eyes: cease 
partly to do evil — learn in some good degree to do well?' Does 
Is. 55: 7, mean, 'Let the wicked in great measure forsake 
his way, and the unrigheous man partially his thoughts, and 
let him return with the greater part of his heart tp the Lord, 
and he will have mercy upon him?' Since these passages 
and innumerable others like them contain no intimation that 
less than entire obedience will do for acceptance, those who 
teach that God will accept less from us, are bound to sub- 
stantiate their doctrine by irrefragable proofs, or to abandon 
it. 

(2.) Such passages as 1 Sam. 12: 20 — 24, obviously treat 
of the condition of a sinner's justification. The people of 
Israel had committed the great wickedness of rejecting the 
Lord from being their king, and asking for a human king 
to reign over them; and God, at Samuel's instance, had sent 
upon them miraculous tokens of his displeasure. The 
affrighted people entreat the prophet to pray for them. 
Samuel replies, '•Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness; 
yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the 
Lord with all your heart. * * * Only fear the Lord and 
serve him in truth with all your heart. But if ye shall still do 
wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.' 
Here the condition of even their temporal salvation was that 
they should serve the Lord with all their heart. Persistance 
in wickedness — in their refusal to serve the Lord with all 
their heart — would ensure their destruction. 

In Deut. 11: 13, obedience 'with all the heart and with 
all the soul' is spoken of as the condition of even the com- 
mon temporal blessings promised to the Israelites in their 
land. ^And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken dili- 
gently unto my commandments which I command you this 
day, to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all 
your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you rain 
of your land in its due season, the first rain and the latter 
rain, that thou may est gather in thy corn and thy wine and 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 1 15 

thy oil; and I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that 
thou mayest eat and be full,' The Israelites were already 
sinners, and to proclaim to them the terms of a strict, legal 
justification would have been the same thing as to denounce 
their destruction. The terms of the passage are terms of 
mercy and suited to their wants as members of the guilty 
human family. The holiness here demanded, too, was to be 
practised in this life; for it would have been most ahsurd to 
condition the bestowment of temporal blessings, the blessings 
of this state of existence, on a holiness subsequent to their 
enjoyment, and not to be attained till the promisees had pass- 
ed or were just passing into the invisible world. In the 
nature of the case, the condition must be performed ere the 
blessing can be bestowed in fulfillment of the promise. 

The same observations might in substance be made respec- 
ting the condition of the promise made to David, mentioned 
by him, 1 Kings, 2: 4. Here the blessing, though ultimately 
relating to the eternal throne of the spotless Messiah, was 
also in part to be given to mortals who had sinned. The 
condition was that 4 they should take heed to their way to walk 
before the Lord in truth, with all their heart and with all 
their soul.' 

(3.) Full obedience is the condition on which God promis- 
es to remove from sinners, judgments under which they are 
suffering. Deut. 4: 29 — L But if from thence, [the land of 
captivity,] thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find 
him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.' 
Deut. 30: 1 — 3, 9, 10, — ; And it shall come to pass when all 
these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, 
which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind 
among all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath driven 
thee, and shalt return unto the Lord thy God and shalt obey his 
voice, according to all that I command thee this day, thou and 
thy children, with all thy heart and with all thy soul, that then 
the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity and have compassion 
upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the na- 
tions whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.' ' The 
Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over 
thy fathers, if thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord 
thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which 
are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the 
Lord thy God with all thy heart and zvith all thy soulS Joel 
2: 13 — 14. ' Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye 
even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with 



116 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart, and not 
your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is 
gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, 
and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will re- 
turn and repent, and leave a hlessing behind him; even a 
meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God?' 
Jer. '29: 13. ; And ye shall seek me and find me when 
ye shall search for me with nil your heart.' The first and 
last of these quotations especially evince that the mentioned 
condition was an indispensable one. No seeking would re- 
gain the Lord's favor, but seeking with all the heart and all 
the soul. It is observable in these passages also, that some, 
at least, of the blessings promised, pertain to this state of 
existence. We infer therefore that the full obedience re- 
quired, was, if it would gain these blessings, to be exhibited 
in the present life. If the first act or exercise of full obedi- 
ence was delayed till the last moment of life, it could not 
place or secure the agent on an earthly throne, or make grass 
grow for his cattle, or feed him with •■the fat of the kidneys 
of wheat,' or deliver him from an earthly captivity. But if 
whole-hearted repentance, full obedience, was thus an indis- 
pensable condition of promised temporal blessings, how much 
more must it be a condition of eternal salvation, of citizen- 
ship in the New Jerusalem, of the palms and white robes of 
the celestial state, of a seat with Christ on his heavenly 
throne! 

(4.) The inspired Solomon ventured to ask mercy for Isra- 
el supposed to be driven into captivity for sin on no less con- 
dition than a return to full obedience. 1 Kings, 8: 46 — 49, 
2 Chron. 6: 36 — 39, — ' If they sin against thee, (for there is 
no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and 
deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away cap- 
tives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; yet if they shall 
bethink themselves, ****** and so return unto 
thee with all their heart and with all their soul, * * * * 
then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven, 
thy dwelling-place, and maintain their cause.' If God would 
have accepted from his exiled people less than a return to him 
with all the heart and with all the soul, the tender interest of 
Solomon, in behalf of Israel, would have impelled him to 
found his intercession on the supposed performance of that 
more favorable condition. The wise Solomon would have 
been a very unskilful advocate, if he had failed to seize and 
urge the easiest possible terms. Not thus did Abraham man- 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 117 

age his suit even in behalf of the reprobate cities of the 
plain. He pressed peradventure after peradventure, till he 
had reached the lowest which he deemed it fit to urge. But 
Solomon knew that the word of God in the writings of Mo- 
ses, (Deut. 4: 29,30: 2 — 10.) had proposed no lower terms 
of deliverance, and so dared not plead that God should dis- 
pense with or abate the conditions on which alone he had 
promised to forgive and restore his banished people. 

(5.) Israel, with God's sanction, entered into covenant with 
him to render full obedience. Before the Lord had given the 
law from Sinai, he said to the people by Moses, Ex. 19: 5, — 
* If ye will obey my voice indeed and keep my covenant, then 
ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for 
all the earth is mine.' t And all the people answered togeth- 
er and said, (v. 9,) ' All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.' 
At the giving of the law, the people, filled with awe at the 
presence and voice of Jehovah, say to Moses, Deut. 5: 27 — 
' Go thou near and hear all that the Lord our God shall say ; 
and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall say 
unto thee, and we will hear it and do it.' 8 And the Lord, 
(Moses says, v. 23.) heard the voice of your words when ye 
spoke unto me; and the Lord said unto me, I have heard the 
voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto 
thee; they have well said all that they have spoken. O that 
there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and 
keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with 
them and with their children forever." Twice after the giv- 
ing of the ten commandments and the report of Moses re- 
specting t all the w r ords of the Lord and all the judgments,' 
Israel confirm the covenant, Ex. 24: 3 — 7 — ' AH* the words 
which the Lord hath said, will we do. All that the Lord hath 
said will we do and be obedient' And solemn covenant-sac- 
rifices seal the sacred engagement. In a subsequent age, in 
the time of Asa king of Judah, and at the instance of the 
prophet Oded, all Judah, with strangers out of Ephraim and 
Manasseh and Simeon, (2 Chron. 15: 12.) ' entered into a 
covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their 
heart and with all their soul.' At the time of the great revi- 
val and reformation under Josiah, Judah, led by their pious 
monarch, renewed the covenant, 2 Kings 23: 3; 2 Chron. 34: 
31, ' And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant be- 
fore the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his com- 
mandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all their 
heart and with all their soul, to perform the words of this 



118 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

covenant that were written in this book. And all the people 
stood to the covenant.' Under Nehemiah, the restored cap- 
tives of Judah, (Ne. 10: 29,)' clave to their brethren, their 
nobles, and entered into a curse and into an oath, to walk in 
God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and 
to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord their 
Lord, and his judgments and his statutes.' There was no 
such thing known to the ancient people of God as a cove- 
nant to do less than the full import of the divine requirements. 
God on his part proposed his law in its uncompromising 
strictness, demanding all the heart and all the soul, and they 
not only voluntarily assent to the obligation to obey, but cov- 
enant on their part, confirming their promise with oaths and 
the blood of sacrifices, to render full obedience. Nor would 
any thing less have been a consent on their part to the cove- 
nant enjoined by the Most High. No one can reasonably 
imagine that he would have accepted a vow to yield him par- 
tial obedience. But can it ever be right, not only to vow but 
swear full, whole-hearted allegiance, unless the inferior cove- 
nanting party has a reasonable prospect of keeping his vow 
and oath? Could he do it honestly if he knew with absolute 
certainty that he would violate his covenant during his whole 
subsequent earthly existence? Could he do it with the divine 
approbation if he even knew that at the very time of his oath 
he was in his heart commencing its violation? Would not 
this be the most awful lying and perjury that could be com- 
mitted? For aught we can sec, the vows and covenant oaths 
of the people of God must have contemplated a partial or less 
than whole-hearted and whole-souled obedience — a covenant 
which God never enjoined — or they must have had a fair 
prospect and hope of fulfilling their vows — a prospect and 
hope which they could not have had if they knew absolutely 
that they would live all their lives in partial disobedience. 

(6.) Individual inspired saints have made the same vows of 
whole-hearted service. Ps.9:l; 111: 1; 138:1; 119:34— 
69; ^ I will praise thee O Lord, with my whole heart. Give 
me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall ob- 
serve it with my whole heart. The proud have forged a lie 
against me; but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.' 
All the observations under the last head might be repeated 
here. We would state more explicitly a principle involved in 
them, that since God, on his part, in the covenant, never propo- 
sed partial obedience, and a promise of such obedience would 
have been no assent to his covenant, all the acceptable vows 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 119 

of the saints recorded in the Bible, however expressed, are to 
be understood as contemplating obedience with all the heart 
and with all the soul. 

(7.) The Bible declares of saints that they have actually 
rendered full obedience. It is said of Caleb, Nu. 14: 24, 
w My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him 
and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land 
whercinto he went.' Deut. 1: 36, 'To him will I give the 
land that he hath trodden upon and to his children, because he 
hath wholly followed the Lord.' Of Joshua and Caleb, (Nu. 
32: 12,) it is said. ' They have wholly followed the Lord.* 
The same language is employed, 1 Kings 11: 6, with respect 
to David. God sentences the Israelites in the wilderness. 
Nu. 32: 11, 'Surely none of the men that came up out of 
Egypt from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land 
which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob: 
because they have not wholly followed me.' Solomon is senten- 
ced (1 Kings, 11: 11, compare verse 11) to lose his kingdom 
because ' he went not after the Lord fully as did David his 
father,' and thus failed 'to keep the Lord's covenant' The 
original Hebrew phrase in all these places is the same, though 
translated into somewhat different English. Gcsenius, sur- 
passed by no one in Hebrew lexicography, explains the phrase 
to mean l to yield God full obedience.' Leopold in his lexi- 
con renders it ' Integra obedicntia Jovam sequif that is, to fol- 
low Jehovah with entire obedience. In reference to David, 
God says to Jeroboam, 1 Kings 14: 8, 'Thou hast not been 
as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who 
followed me with all his heart, to do that only which zcas right in 
mine eyes.' It is recorded of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chron. 22: 9, 
that 'he sought the Lord with all his heart.' Of Josiah the 
inspired record is, 2 Kings 23: 25, 'And like unto him was 
there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his 
heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according 
to all the law of Moses, neither after him arose there any like 
him." On this remarkable passage we observe, 

[1.] Its language is manifestly copied from Deut. 6: 2, where 
the mode of expression is the most emphatic known to the 
writers of the Old Testament in proclaiming the law of the 
Lord, and therefore the design of the writer of this book is to 
declare that Josiah ' turned to the Lord with all his heart, and 
with all his soul, and with all his might' according to the re- 
quisition of that emphatic passage. 



120 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

[2.] The expressions, ' like unto him was there no king be- 
fore him, neither after him arose there any like him,' are to be 
understood, not of his turning to the Lord with all his heart, 
but of the comprehensive reformation he effected, extending 
to all the institutions of Moses. As Matthew Henry has well 
expressed it, 6 he was a none-such as a reformer;' he had the 
a'bilities and influence which qualified him for that work. 
But Hezekiah (2 Kings 18; 5,) received the praise of a none- 
such in faith, as the same venerable commentator says: 'He 
trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none 
like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were be- 
fore him.' In the fearful invasion of Sennacherib, he was 
placed in circumstances to call for the manifestation of an ex- 
alted faith such as the circumstances of no other pious king 
demanded. The piety of every saint will have its type and 
direction determined by the original cast of his constitution, 
and the influences and emergencies among which he is situa- 
ted. If he meets the particular responsibilities which God 
has imposed on him, he is accepted; but if he fails to meet 
them, he sins and falls under condemnation. 

With reference to the covenant entered into by Judah in 
the time of king Asa, it is recorded, 2 Chron. 15; 15, 'And 
all Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they had sworn with all their 
heart and sought [the Lord] with their whole desired We 
have seen that all the people stood with Josiah to the cove- 
nant to walk after the Lord with all their heart and with all 
their soul. In 2 Chron. 34: 32, in immediate connexion with 
this transaction, it is declared, ' that the inhabitants of Jeru- 
salem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their 
fathers.' Now we have seen that this covenant was not mere- 
ly an engagement to serve the Lord in some degree, but to do 
it with their whole heart. 

(8.) Bible saints professed this entire obedience. Thus Ca- 
leb says to Joshua, Josh. 14: 8, 'My brethren that went up 
with me, made the heart of the people melt; but I wholly fol- 
lowed the Lord my God.' 'I beseech thee O Lord,' says Hez- 
ekiah 2 Kings 20: 3, ' remember how I have walked before 
thee in truth and with a perfect heart.' It is remarkable that 
the lexicographers Gesenius, Leopold, and Gibbs in explain- 
ing the word shaulem, give both the general signification, per- 
fect, entire, consummate, and in reference to the relation of 
men to God make it signify at peace or on good terms with him, 

Ps. 119: 10,58, 145, the Psalmist professes, 'With my 
whole heart have I sought thee; let me not wander from 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 



121 



thy commandments. I entreated thy favor with my whole 
heart; be merciful unto me according to thy word. 1 cried 
with my whole heart; hear ma; I will keep thy statutes/ It 
may be thought that historians or poets in describing the char- 
acters or conduct of others would resort to the language of 
hyperbole; but do the modest, humble saints employ hyperbol- 
ical expressions in telling of their own conduct and exercises? 
Do they magnify their own earnestness and faithfulness — or 
use the words of simple truth? Two remarks we will mike 
on the passages from the Psalmist: 1. He founds on his whole- 
hearted seeking and prayers a covenant claim to be heard, 
to be made a subject of mercy and grace. 2. His belief of 
his own whole-heartedness did not make him self-confident or 
presumptuous. t O let me not wander from thy command- 
ments,' is any thing rather than the language of a self-confi- 
dent spirit. 

In the times of Samuel the prophet, when the ark had long 
been absent from its place, the sacred historian tells us, I Sam. 
7: 2, 'that all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord. : 
'And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If yc 
do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the 
strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare 
your hearts unto the Lord and serve him only; and he will 
deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. 1 The prophet 
seems to take it for granted that if they looked for divine favor, 
they professed to return to the Lord with all their hearts, and 
he expects them to bring forth the appropriate fruits, by 
casting away idols, and preparing or rather establishing their 
hearts to the Lord so as in future to serve Him only, and 
promises that then they shall experience deliverance from 
their enemies. 

(9.) Those who did not yield full obedience are either brand- 
ed as hypocrites or spoken of as the objects of the divine dis- 
pleasure. 'Surely,' says God, Nu. 32: 11, mone of the men 
that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, 
shall see the land which I sware unto Abraham and unto Isaac, 
and unto Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me." 
It is of these men that the Psalmist speaks, Ps. 78: 31 — 37, 
"When He slew them, then they sought Him; and they returned 
and inquired early after God. And they remembered that 
God was their rock, and the High God their Redeemer. Nev- 
ertheless they did flatter Him with their mouth, and they lied 
unto Him with their tongues; for their heart was not right wit!; 
Him, neither were they steadfast [or true] in his covenant/ 



122 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



It is true that as the next verse tells us, God ' being full of 
compassion, forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not,' 
immediately. He forgave them in the same sense in which 
He might forgive the murderers of Christ, that is, he did not 
at once and forever shut the door of mercy against them; but 
in the sense in which he l keeps covenant and mercy with his 
servants who walk before him with all their heartj (1 King 8: 
23,) he did not forgive them or show them mercy. God final- 
ly swore in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest; 
and the epistle to the Hebrews holds them up as the great 
warning example of unbelief and consequent subjection to 
divine wrath.— Heb. 3: 7—19; 4: 1—7. 

God had said to Solomon, (1 Kings 8: 4, 5,) l If thou wilt 
walk before me as David thy father walked, in integrity [torn 
— entireness] of heart and in uprightness, to do according to 
all that I have commanded thee * * * * then I will es- 
tablish the throne of thy kingdom for ever.' But by and by 
through the influence of his foreign wives, Solomon's heart 
was not perfect, [shaulem] with the Lord his God as was the 
heart of David his father. * * * * And Solomon did 
evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the 
Lord as did David his faiher. * * * And the Lord was 
angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the 
Lord God of Israel.' 1 Kings 11: 1,6,9. The external 
conduct of the renowned king was abominable, but it was 
traced to the swerving of his heart from ; entireness and up- 
rightness.' And it was with this inward defection that the 
Holy One was displeased. 

When Hezekiah, who could, when he was sick, appeal to' 
God ' that he had walked before him with a perfect heart,' 
fell into pride, and ostentatiously displayed his treasures to 
the Babylonish ambassadors, l there was wrath upon him and 
upon Judah and Jerusalem. Nevertheless Hezekiah humbled 
himself for the pride of his heart, (both he and the inhabitants 
of Jerusalem,) so that the wrath of the Lord came not upon 
them in the days of Hezekiah. 1 — 2 Chron. 32: 35, 26. In 
like manner God dealt with David when he sinned in the mat- 
ter of Uriah, and in numbering the people. His heart was 
no more * perfect with the Lord' when he was perpetrating 
those crimes than Solomon's was when he was worshipping 
the abomination of the Sidonians. Nor did the heart of 
Hezekiah remain a perfect one when ' it was lifted up with 
pride.' The Bible knows nothing of a ' perfect heart' which 
retires in its perfection somewhere into the recesses of the 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 123 

inward being and goes to sleep, while the members of the 
body are employed in adultery or murder, and the thoughts are 
full of pride. Nor does the Bible make the ways of God so 
unequal that every sin in one man who has never experienced 
the grace of God, shall incur the danger of eternal damna- 
tion, and that no sin, not even murder, in another whose sins 
are aggravated by the rupture of all the endearing ties of in- 
timate filial communion and glorious discoveries never made 
to his sinning brother, shall incur the danger of no severer 
penalty than God's fatherly displeasure and the withdrawal 
of the light of his countenance. If ' Christ in the gospel 
does not dissolve, but much strengthen the obligation' of the 
law with respect to all men ; much more so does he do this with 
respect to those who have received the richest blessings. If 
other sinners incur the danger of damnation by their sins, than 
when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and com- 
mits iniquity — since ' there is no sin so small but it deserves 
damnation,' and such iniquity is crimsoned with the deepest 
hues of guilt — what peril short of exclusion from mercy on 
repentance, shall not such a sinner incur? If he incurs not 
the peril of death, then with respect to him, the law, as to its 
penalty, is utterly abrogated, and when he is forgiven, he is 
not released from the danger of perdition, but merely from 
further manifestations of God's paternal displeasure. 

It is sometimes argued that the sins of persons who have 
been converted, do not bring them into a state of condemna- 
tion or forfeit their justification, because the discipline of the 
Lord is to bring them to repentance. But the true question 
which determines the relation of the sins of such persons to 
the divine wrath is, what would they incur if the perpetrators 
were to persist in them — or were their probation at once 
closed? The fact that they are brought to repentance by di- 
vine chastisements and are then forgiven, no more proves that 
their sins did not expose them to damnation, than the same 
fact proves that the unconverted who will yet be saved, have 
not hanging over their guilty heads the poised thunderbolts of 
divine indignation. ' When a righteous man turneth away 
from his righteousness and committeth iniquity, and dieth in 
them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.' Ez. 
18: 26. c The righteousness of the righteous shall not de- 
liver him in the day of his transgression — neither shall the 
righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that 
he sinneth.' Ez. 33: 12. And if a wicked man would save 
his soul alive, he must ; turn from his sin and walk in the stat- 



124 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

utcsof life, without committing iniquity,'' Ez. 33 14, 16. In 
the day that he commits iniquity — the least degree of it for 
aught the scriptures any where say — his righteousness shall not 
deliver him from death. If he is spared and space is allowed 
him for .repentance, it is not because he had the least person- 
al covenant claim on favor, but because God pleases in his 
own sovereign goodness to spare him, not willing that he should 
perish, just as he spares the countless hosts of sinners who 
crowd the broad road. After him He cries as after them, 
Turn, turn, for why wilt thou die? 

3. The texts which we have hitherto quoted, have been 
almost exclusively from the Old Testament. We have chosen 
to present its testimony chiefly by itself, in order that our 
readers may be enabled, with less effort, to see the harmony 
of both parts of divine revelation. On some points we shall 
have occasion to bring forward a number of other texts. We 
wished also to expose the falsity of a notion entertained by 
some believers in the doctrine of Christian perfection, name- 
ly, that to those who live under the new dispensation entire 
sanctitication is attainable, but that Old Testament saints 
were generally, throughout the whole of life, sinfully imper- 
fect. The many texts already adduced appear to us to show 
very clearly, that under the ancient dispensation, the standard 
of acceptable piety was nothing lower than entire conformity 
to the divine law. The covenant blessings belonged to none 
others than those who ' kept God's testimonies and sought 
him with the whole heart.' — Ps. 119: 2, 3. 

But, if, under the Old Testament, saints could be accepted 
on no less condition than present sinless holiness, much more 
must this be true under the new dispensation. For it would 
be most preposterous to suppose that the gospel, with its high- 
er and fuller communications of the Spirit, has lowered the 
conditions of mercy. We might safely conclude, then, without 
further inquiry, that the standard of the New Testamentis at 
least as high as that of the Old. But lor the sake of exhibit- 
ing the harmony of the two Testaments, and of further im- 
pressing the views already presented, and for other rea- 
sons which will appear in the progress of the discussion, we 
shall take into consideration some classes of texts, which we 
believe support our position. 

(1.) We commence with the Sermon on the Mount. '•Think 
not,' says Christ, fc that I am come to destroy the law or the 
prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. * * Who- 
soever, therefore, shall break one of these least command- 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 125 

merits and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in 
the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach 
them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heav- 
en.' The Savior then proceeds to give his exposition of some 
of the most important of the ten commandments, freeing them 
from the pernicious glosses of the Jewish scribes. Indeed it 
is the general opinion of Christian commentators, that what- 
ever other objects the Son of God had in view in the delivery 
of this sermon, it was one of his main objects to show forth 
the spirituality of the divine law. Among the precepts he 
utters are such as these, ' Whatsoever ye would that men 
should do unto you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law 
and the prophets.' l Be ye perfect even as your Father in 
heaven is perfect.' But does he represent, that obedience to 
his instructions in this sermon, uncompromising as they are, 
is a condition of eternal salvation? The solemn conclusion 
is the best reply that we can give: ' Whosoever heareth these 
sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise 
man, which built his house upon a rock; and the rain descen- 
ded, and the floods came and the winds blew, and beat upon 
that house; and it fell not; for it was founded on a rock. And 
every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them 
not, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house 
upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, 
and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell; 
and great was the fall of it.' Nor is there an intimation that 
any degree of iniquity, unforsaken, would escape the awful 
ruin. 

(2.) We invite particular attention to Luke 10: 24 — 28. 
1 And behold a certain lawyer stood up and tempted him, 
saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He 
said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 
And he answering, said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy 
strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. 
And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, 
and thou shalt live.' 

The lawyer — that is, a Jewish divine or theologian — to try 
the theological skill of the great teacher of Galilee, and to 
determine whether he taught a different doctrine from Moses 
and the prophets, asks him what are the conditions of salva- 
tion. The Savior refers him to the law; and when the law- 
yer quotes its most emphatic moral precepts, the two which 
comprehended the whole law in their sweeping import, as 
11* 



126 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

containing those conditions, the Savior declares that his an- 
swer is correct, and that these are in truth the conditions of 
eternal life, and that if he would live, he must comply with 
them. 

On this passage we remark: (1.) The fact that the Savior 
refers him to the Mosaic writings for an answer to his question, 
evinces that He taught, himself, the same conditions of life 
that Moses did. (2.) His remark on the lawyer's quotations, 
shows that in Christ's view, the lawyer had not selected erro- 
neously the two all-comprehensive commands of the law. 
(3.) The parable of the good Samaritan, told in reply to the 
lawyer's question about the word neighbor, in which Christ 
gives us a practical embodiment of the fulfilment of the second 
command, demonstrates that Christ meant in truth to lay down 
obedience to the law as an indispensable condition of mercy. 
His closing injunction on the lawyer, l Go thou and do like- 
wise,' is a further proof of the same thing. We know of 
none who do not admit that we must do as the good Samari- 
tan did in order to be saved. Not an intimation is given in 
this whole passage or its context, that less would do than full 
compliance with the holy rule. 

(3.) We request our readers to consider attentively such 
passages as declare, that we cannot serve God and Mammon 
(a) — that we must hate our nearest friends and forsake all 
that we have in order to be Christ's disciples (b) — that we 
must sell all that we have in order to buy the field with the 
treasure hid in it, or to obtain the pearl of great price, (c) — 
that the violator of one commandment is guilty of all (d) — 
that the accepted Christian is free from sin, dead and buried to 
sin — that he is risen to righteousness, (e) — that to him who is in 
Christ Jesus old things are passed away and all things become 
new. (/) Let these passages be examined with their con- 
text, and it will be seen that they entirely harmonize with 
the numerous texts quoted from the Old Testament. 

On Mat. 5: 24, we quote from the Commentary of Calvin, 
one of the ablest and most spiritual of expositors, and on the 
whole, decidedly our own favorite. The extracts are instruc- 
tive, both as showing the force with which such passages 
strike pious minds, in theory opposed to their teachings, and 
as giving a specimen of the best shifts by which they try to 
dispose of their natural import. ' Christ denies that it can 

(a) Mat. 6: 24: (b) Lu. 14. 26, 43; (c) Mat 13; 44, 45; (d) Ja. 2: 
10; (e) Rom. 6: 2, 4, 7, 18, 22; (/) 2 Cor. 5: 17. 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 127 

be that any one should obey God and his flesh at the same 
time. * * Since God every where commends sincerity, 
while a double heart is abominable, all those are deceived who 
think he will be contented with half of their heart. AH, in- 
deed, confess with the mouth, that God is not truly worshipped 
except with entire affection, but they deny it in reality, while 
they study to reconcile things contrary to each other. I will 
not cease, says the ambitious man, to serve God. although I 
apply a good part of my mind to the chase of honors. * * 
It is true, indeed, that believers themselves never are so en- 
tirely given to obedience to God, but that they are drawn 
from it by the vicious desires of the flesh. But because they 
groan under this miserable bondage, and are displeased with 
themselves, and do not serve the flesh otherwise than unwil- 
ling and reluctant (inviti et reluctantes) — they are not said to 
serve two masters, because their purposes and efforts are ap- 
proved by the Lord, just as if they rendered him an entire 
obedience. But here the hypocrisy of those persons is expc* 
sed, who flatter themselves in vices, as if they could conjoin 
light with darkness.' We ask, where, in the whole compass 
of the Bible, are saints said to be thus distinguishable from sin- 
ners? Where are they said to sin 'unwilling and reluctant' 
— while none of the ungodly are reluctant about it? We 
know of no texts which can under any pretence be cited to 
sustain such a view, except the contested passages in Rom. 
7th and Gal. 5th — with respect to the first of which we can- 
not but concur with Tholuck in the remark that l if the least 
attention is paid to the connection of this section of ch. 7th 
with that which precedes and that which follows, it is not 
possible to explain it of any other than a person standing un- 
der the law.' More on this passage by and by. Of Gal. 
5: 17, we shall, in the sequel, have a word or two to say. H 
every man is a saint who sins reluctantly, Julius Caesar must 
have been a good saint, when, about to annihilate the liber- 
ties of his country, he reluctantly crossed the Rubicon; and 
Macbeth, when he reluctantly murdered his benefactor and 
king. With great reluctance did the last named villain drag 
himself to the deed of blood — with quite as much reluctance, 
according to the great poet, as David debauched his neigh- 
bor's wife, and then murdered her generous husband. The 
plea of reluctance on any other ground than that on which 
a Macbeth might plead it, resembles a little too much the de- 
fence of an ingenious poltroon, that his heart was as bold as a 
lion's, but his cowardly legs would run away. 



128 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, 

President Edwards (on the Will, Pt. Ill, Sec. V,) remarks 
most justly, ' that it is a great mistake and gross absurdity, 
that men may sincerely choose and desire those spiritual du- 
ties of love, acceptance, choice, rejection, &c, consisting in 
the exercise of the will itself, in the disposition and inclina- 
tion of the heart, and yet not be able to perform or exert 
them. This is absurd, because it is absurd to suppose that a 
man should directly, properly and sincerely incline to have an 
inclination, which at the same time is contrary to his inclina- 
tion; for that is to suppose him not to be inclined to that 
which he is inclined to. If a man, in the state and acts of 
his will and inclination, does properly and directly fall in 
with those duties, he therein performs them; for the duties 
themselves consist in that very thing; they consist in the 
state and acts of the will being so formed and directed. * * 
That which is called a desire and willingness for these in- 
ward duties in such as do not perform, has respect to those 
duties only indirectly and remotely, and is improperly repre- 
sented as a willingness for them." 

The great Edwards is not always consistent with himself, 
nor are his professed disciples. Thus, they all insist that no 
one can be a good Christian who does not intend or aim at 
sinless perfection, or, as the Westminister Confession has it, 
*• purpose and endeavor to walk with God in all the ways of 
his commandments,' and yet they also insist that it is danger- 
ous error, if not heresy, to believe that any one ever really 
fully obeys God. All Christians have the will for it, but 
never do it. fc If there be a full compliance of will? says Ed- 
wards, L the person has done his duty; and if other things do 
not prove to be connected with his volition, that is not owing to 
him.'' 

(4.) The apostle Paul appears to us to teach very explictly, 
Rom. 8: 6 — 7, 13, the necessity of conformity to the law in 
order to exemption from death. l To be carnally minded is 
death; * * because the carnal mind is enmity against God 
for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So 
then they that are in the flesh [carnally minded] cannot please 
God.' 4 If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye 
through the Spirit do mortify [that is, put to death, not par- 
tially subdue, or half kill, according to the modern sense of 
the English word, mortify] the deeds of the body, ye shall 
live? Of how great a degree of sin is death the wages? Do 
the Scriptures any where teach us that there is any degree 
of it so small that it does not deserve, and will not receive 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 129 

death as its wages, unless it is put away? It would appear 
that in the apostle's view, we must be conformed to the law 
in order to please God. And how shall He ; who is of purer 
eyes than to behold iniquity, and who cannot look upon sin,' 
be pleased with less than full conformity to it? 

(5.) The whole argument of Paul, in the 6th, 7th and 8th 
chapters of Romans, proceeds on the supposition that the 
entire subjugation of sin is indispensable to justification. In 
vain does a man hope that he may yield himself as a servant 
to sin, and escape condemnation, because he has taken refuge 
with Christ. Death (6: 16,21, 23; 7: 5,9, 11, 13, 24; 8:2; 
6, 8, 13) is the inevitable result of sin, its wages, its fruit. 
Legal influences do not avail to rescue the sinner from the 
power of sin — they rather aggravate his bondage to it, and 
while sin remnins, the sword of vengeance threatens the sin- 
ner's life. Now how, according to the apostle, does he es- 
cape? By betaking himself to a Savior who will make a 
partial obedience answer? Or by flying to one who gives him 
the victory over sin itself ? Not a syllable is dropped in these 
interesting chapters about a partial obedience to the law, 
a partial conquest of iniquity. The believer has no condem- 
nation hanging over him or inwardly harassing him, because 
he walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The law 
of the Spirit of life [salvation] in Christ Jesus, has made him 
free from the law of sm, (and therefore of death*) which has 
warred in his members and brought him into captivity. God, 
by sending his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as a 
sin-offering, has destroyed sin by a capital condemnation, that 
the former transgressor may inwardly fulfil the righteousness 
of the law. He is married (7: 4) to the risen Son of God, so 
that he brings forth fruit, not to death, (7: 5,f but to God. 
His fruit is unto holiness, (6: 22,) and the end is everlasting 
life. While faith stands, tribulation, distress, persecution, 
famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life, angels, principali- 
ties, powers, things present and things to come, and every 
creature in the universe, may assault him with the utmost 
fury, and in all these things he more than conquers through 
him that loved him. While his eye is on Jesus, though he 
walk a tempestuous sea, threatened by all its roaring waves, 
it shall do no more than touch the soles of his feet. 

We are well aware of the interpretation of Rom. 7: 7 — 25 
still current among Calvinistic writers in England and Amer- 
ica. It is an interpretation, which, beginning with Augus- 
tine, spread, through his great influence, extensively in the 



130 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

church, and gained still further vogue by the adoption and 
sanction of the reformers Calvin and Luther. But till Au- 
gustine broached it, so far as history informs us, the church 
knew nothing of it. By the whole early church, learned and 
unlearned, the passage was referred to the experience of a 
sinner under the law. Notwithstanding the venerable au- 
thority of the Reformers, and the high esteem in which they 
are held by evangelical men the world over, the whole body 
of pious German commentators, several of the most distin- 
guished in Scotland and England, and Professors Stuart and 
Robinson in America, have been compelled, by the apostle's 
argument, in spite of theological bias, to return to the ancient 
interpretation. 

With the exception of the Methodist commentators, we 
see not how these learned men can be plausibly charged with 
adopting their views from theological prejudice, inasmuch as 
they all, so far as we know, held or hold the doctrine of the 
constant moral imperfection of Christians. Hence Professor 
Hodge of Princeton, in his able work on Romans, while he 
tenaciously cleaves to the current view among Calvinists, 
says: 'There is nothing in this opinion which implies the 
denial or disregard of any of the fundamental principles of 
evangelical religion.' But how strong must be the in- 
ternal evidence in favor of this view, when it has brought 
over the great body of the most able commentators in the 
world! To ourselves it seems amazing that any man can re- 
sist the force of argument with which Prof. Stuart has assail- 
ed the modern view, and sustained that, which, before Augus- 
tine, was, for aught history informs us, the universal view of 
the church. We feel, we confess, an intense interest in the 
establishment of the true interpretation of this important 
passage; for we believe that the current false view has 
done more to hinder the saints and to flatter the hopes of hy- 
pocrites than any other single error that has ever prevailed 
among good men. 

(6.) We should like to make some observations on the 
declarations respecting himself of that apostle and Christian 
of whose experience and character the Scriptures tell us the 
most — the abundant and most humble confessions of past sin, 
and the entire absence of any word respecting present sin 
or sinful defect — his modest and yet full profession of con- 
secration to Christ, counting all things but loss for the excel- 
lency of the knowledge of his Lord, of faithfulness in his 
ministry, and of his having exhibited so holy, righteous and 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 131 

unblamable an example, that he had in his own life showed 
his converts all things, especially the very spirit of the all- 
comprehensive saying of the Lord Jesus, ' It is more blessed 
to give than to receive,' so that in the most opposite circum- 
stances and temptations, he, in the practical sense could do 
all things in Christ who strengthened him — having no need 
to tell his brethren to shun his faults, while they imitated his 
virtues. We roust rather refer to the apostle's solemn say- 
ing, 1 Cor. 7: 27, 'I keep under my body, and bring it into 
subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to 
others, I myself should be a castaway.' The impartiality of 
the Lord's rule of judgment, the same apostle declares, 1 
Cor. 11: 32, where he gives the ground of the chastisements 
with which the Corinthians had been visited, ' When we are 
judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be 
condemned with the world? Had these chastisements failed 
to produce the desired effect, condemnation with the world 
would have been the inevitable doom of the offending Corin- 
thians. The apostle John, who, 1 Jn. 3: 20 tells us that 'if 
our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and 
knoweth all things,' told also the backslidden Laodiceans, 
though rebuked and chastened out of love, that only earnest 
repentance could save them from being spued out of Christ's 
mouth. The Ephesians too, because they had left their first 
love, are threatened with the utter removal of their candle- 
stick. Repentance alone could avert the stroke. 'Verily I 
say unto you,' said Christ to his emulous disciples, 'except ye 
be converted, and become as little children — [not, ye will 
incur God's paternal displeasure, but] ye shall not enter into 
the kingdom of heaven? The rule, as we understand it to be 
laid down in both Testaments, is the same, that 'the Lord 
keepeth covenant and mercy with his servants that walk be- 
fore him with all their hearts' — so that even Christians who 
enjoy the blessings of the new dispensation, which many 
kings and righteous men desired to enjoy, but did not enjoy 
them — are thus exhorted by Peter, 1 Peter, 1: 17, 'Since ye 
call on him as your Father, who without respect of persons , 
judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your 
sojourning here in fear." 

Dr. Beecher supposes that the new-born soul is not quali- 
fied for heaven; but that in order to its being qualified for 
it, its holy love must be progressively augmented through 
sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. We see 
not how this doctrine agrees with those texts which require 



132 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

us to be continually ready for the coming of Christ, and to be 
watching for his arrival. Such passages are among the most 
solemn and striking in the Bible, and their doctrine appears 
plainly to be, that Christ grants us no time for advancement 
to a state in which we shall be fitted for his coming, but 
holds us practically to the responsibility of being constantly 
ready to welcome his appearing and render up our account. 

On the above citations from the New Testament, we re- 
mark, that some of them are almost as explicit as words 
could make them, in favor of the doctrine we are advocating, 
while not one text of those whose language is less definite, 
contains a syllable that would lead to a less strict interpreta- 
tion. Nor can we recall a single passage in either division 
of the Scriptures, which treats of the question of what is 
acceptable, and what unacceptable to God, which hints that 
the Holy One will accept a divided heart, or a service stain- 
ed with sin. 

4. We now proceed to say, that in our opinion, whatever 
has been the speculative theory of the true church of Christ, 
its real, practical standard has been the same as that for 
which we contend in this article. 

We never, until recently, heard a discourse addressed to 
sinners, laying down the conditions of acceptance, which did 
not insist that a full surrender, an entire consecration must, 
be made, that all other confidences must be utterly abandon- 
ed, and Christ alone become the object of faith and trust. 
The sermons addressed to backsliders were of exactly the 
same character, demanding that all idols should be put away, 
and that there should be a full return to the Lord. We re- 
cently asked an aged clergyman who sat before us while we 
were, in a sermon, making a similar statement, and whom we 
had not till then even seen, whether this was not the charac- 
ter of all the preaching he had ever heard, and his reply ac- 
corded with our own views. Another clergyman, nearly 
ninety years old, who remarkably retains the vigor of his 
mind, spontaneously told us that he had himself often insist- 
ed, in his ministry, as all other ministers did, on the same un- 
qualified obedience, and then, like as not, on the next Sab- 
bath, preached a discourse teaching, unwittingly, a totally in- 
consistent doctrine. 

We shall now present our readers with a number of quota- 
tions from evangelical divines, chiefly from the renowned 
and pious Pres. Edwards, showing that we make no rash 
assertion. Indeed, some of the language of Edwards is 






OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 133 

stronger than we have thought it expedient to use. We do 
not pretend that Edwards and other evangelical divines are 
self-consistent. Like our aged friend above referred to, they 
have preached one thing at one time and another thing at 
another, and even palpable contradictions in the same ser- 
mon, and even in the same parapraph. But the spirit and 
soul of their faith we believe to be embodied in such passa- 
ges as the following, rather than in those of an opposite char- 
acter. 

We begin with Dr. Beecher speaking in the very extracts 
cited in the commencement of this article. We doubt not 
that if Dr. B. should publish unaltered the sermons which 
have been instrumental in converting sinners and reclaiming 
backsliders, they would furnish us with much more explicit 
statements. 

' Question 2, How can the help of Christ be obtained to secure our growth 
in grace? 

Answer. By renouncing all reliance on our own strength and merits, and re- 
lying entirely on the sufficiency and willingness of Christ to help us, sought by 
filial supplication and the diligent use of the appointed means of grace; striving, 
as the Puritan writers say, as if all depended on ourselves, and looking to Christ 
as if all depended on him. ' 

What if the Doctor says that this is a faith and striving 
sinfully defective? Does God command us to do any thing 
more than * to strive as if all depended on ourselves and look 
to Christ as if all depended on him?' When a man does 
this, his conscience in its inner depths is at peace, though 
false theory may disturb the surface with shallow rufflings. 

We quote a single passage from Baxter, whose writings 
are full enough of the sinfulness of the saints: 

' If you would be truly converted, be sure that you make an absolute resig- 
nation of yourselves and all that you have to God.' — Orme's Life of Baxter, 
Vol. 2, p. 82. 

We translate a passage from Calvin, on Matt. 13: 44 — 46, 
which will show where the practical heart of the great and 
good reformer was, notwithstanding the contrary teachings 
which he wrote elsewhere. 

* We now have the sum of both parables, that those are fit to apprehend the 
grace of the Gospel, who, postponing to it all other objects of desire,* apply 
their zealous efforts and their whole being to gaining possession of it. * * 
Still, it is asked, whether we must renounce all other good things that we may 
enjoy eternal life. I reply, briefly, that this is the simple sense of the words, that 
the Gospel is not regarded with just honor, unless with us it excels all the wealth, 
delight, honor and advantages of the world, and indeed, to that degree, that for 
the sake of the spiritual good which it promises us, we contentedly neglect 
whatever things draw us away from it: for it behoves those who aspire to 

* Qui ad earn potiendam sua studia et se totos addicunt, 

12 



134 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

heaven to be freed from all hindrances. Therefore Christ exhorts his faithfol 
ones to nothing else than the surrender of those things which are adverse to 
piety. Meanwhile, he concedes that they may use and enjoy God's temporal 
benefits, as if they did not use them.' 

The excellent Doddridge gives the following as part of a 
proper form for entering into covenant with the Lord: — 

' This day do I, with the utmost solemnity, surrender myself to Thee. I re- 
nounce all former lords that have had dominion over me; and I consecrate to 
Thee all that 1 am, and all that 1 have; the faculties of my mind, the members 
of my body, my worldly possessions, my time and my influence over others; to 
be all used entirely for thy glory, and resolutely employed in obedience to Thy 
commands, as long as Thou continuest me in life; with an ardent desire and 
humble resolution to be Thine through the endless ages of eternity; ever hold- 
ing myself in an attentive posture to observe the first intimations of Thy will, 
and ready to spring forward with zeal and joy to the immediate execution of it. 

To thy direction also I resign myself, and all I am and have, to be disposed 
of by thee in such a manner as thou shalt in thine infinite wisdom judge most 
subservient to the purposes of thy glory. To thee I leave the management of all 
events, and say without reserve, not my will, but thine be done.' — Rise and 
Prog. eh. 17. 

We now proceed to our citations from Pres. Edwards, 
from whom we give more than from any other author because 
we find him to be more full and explicit on this subject than 
any other writer we have consulted, and hecause his author- 
ity and influence are greater among American Calvinists. 

'If ever men come to have any true hope, they must take sin, which is the 
troubler, and all which belongs to it, even that which seems most dear and pre- 
cious, though it be as choice as Achan's silver and wedge of gold, and utterly 
destroy them, and burn them with fire, to be sure to make an utter end of them, 
— as it were, bury them and raise over them a great heap of stones, to Jay a 
great weight upon them to make sure of it that they shall never rise more. 
Yea, and thus they must serve all his sons and daughters. They must not save 
some of the accursed brood alive. All the fruits of sin must be destroyed. 
There must not be some dear sinful enjoyment, some pleasant child of sin spared; 
but all must be stoned and burned. 

Sin is slain in the godly after trouble and darkness, and before the renewing 
of comfort in these three ways: 

1, It is slain as to former degrees of it. All remains of corruption are not 
extiipated. Sin does not cease to be in the heart; but it ceases to be in such 
strength as it has been. * * * * *.*.* * * 

3. It is totally and perfectly slain in his will and inclination. There is that 
renewed opposition made against it, which implies a mortal inclination and de- 
sign against tt. What the saint seeks, when he comes to himself after a time 
of great declension, is to be the death of sin, which has been so prevalent in 
him, and perfectly to extirpate it. He acts in what he does as a mortal enemy: 
'and if he does not perfectly destroy it at one blow, it is not for want of inclina- 
tion, but for want of strength.' — Works, Vol. 8, pp. 77, 87. 

We find here a noticeable instance of those strange contra- 
dictions of which we have spoken; and yet how does the 
Christian heart of the erring theologian shine through his 
false philosophy! The sermon from which we take the pre- 
ceding extracts, was written before his Treatise on the Will. 
From this famous Treatise we select a short passnge as the 






OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 135 

best antidote to the mixture of false philosophy in the elo- 
quent extracts from the earlier sermon. 

'If there be such a sincerity, and such a degree of it as there ought to be, and 
there be any thing further which the man is not able to perform, or which does 
not prove to be connected with his sincere desires and endeavors, the man is 
wholly excused and acquitted in the sight of God; his will shall surely be ac- 
cepted for his deed: and such a sincere will and endeavor is all that in strictness 
is required of him by any command of God.' — Works, Vol. 2, pp. 171. 

Now in the case supposed in our previous citations, 'sin was 
totally and perfectly slain in the will and inclination.' This 
is, according to Edwards himself, all that any command of 
God requires. 

The following passages from the work on the Affections, 
we present without note or comment. They will speak for 
themselves. They may all be found under the Twelfth Sign 
of Gracious Affections. 

'They that are God's true servants, do give up themselves to his service, and 
make it as it were their whole work, therein employing their whole hearts, and 
the chief of their strength; Phil. 3; 13 — 'This one thing I do.' " 

' What makes men partial in religion is, that they seek themselves, and not 
God, in their religion, not for its own excellent nature, but only to serve a turn. 
He that closes with religion only to serve a turn, will close with no more of it 
than he imagines serves that turn; but he that closes with religion for its own 
excellent and lovely nature, closes with all that has that nature: he that embra- 
ces religion for its own sake, embraces the whole of religion.' 

'The Holy Scriptures do abundantly place sincerity and soundness in religion, 
in making a full choice of God as our only Lord and portion, forsaking all for 
Him, and in a full determination of the will for God and Christ, on counting 
the cost; in our hearts closing and complying with the religion of Jesus Christ, 
with all that belongs to it, embracing it with all its difficulties; as it were hating 
our dearest earthly enjoyments, and even our own lives, for Christ; giving up 
ourselves, with all that we have, wholly and forever, unto Christ, without keep- 
ing back any thing, or making any reserve; or, in one word, in the great duty 
of self-denial for Christ; or in denying, that is, as it were, disowning and re- 
nouncing ourselves for Him, making ourselves nothing that He may be all.' 

'Moses insisted that Israel's God should be served and sacrificed to; Pharaoh 
was willing to consent to that; but would have it done without his parting with 
the people; Go sacrifice to your God in the land, says he, Ex. 8: 25. So, many 
sinners are for contriving to serve God, and enjoy their lusts too. Moses ob- 
jected against complying with Pharaoh's proposal, that serving God and yet 
continuing in Egypt, under their task-masters, did not agree together and were 
inconsistent one with another; (there is no serving God, and continuing slaves 
to such enemies of God at the same time.) After this, Pharaoh consented to 
let the people go, provided- they would not go far away: he was not willing to 
part with them finally, and therefore would have them within reach. So do 
many hypocrites with respect to their sins. Afterwards Pharaoh consented to 
let the men go, if they would leave the women and children, Ex. 10: 8 — 10. 
And then after that, when God's hand was yet harder upon him, he consented 
that they should go, even women and children, as well as men, provided they 
would leave their cattle behind; but he was not willing to let them go, and all 
that they had, Ex. 10; 54. So it oftentimes is with sinners; they are willing 
to part with some of their sins, but not all; they are brought to part with the 
more gross acts of sin, but not to part with their lusts, in their lesser indulgen- 
ces of them. Whereas we must part with all our sins, little and great; and all 



136 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

that belongs to them, men, women, children, and cattle: they must all be let go; 
with their young, and with their old, with their sons, and with their daughters, 
tciih their flocks, and with thtir herds, there must not he an hoof left behind; as 
Moses told Pharaoh, with respect to to the children of Israel.' 

1 Thus it is essential to Christianity that we repent of our sins, that we be 
convinced of our sinfulness, and that we are sensible we have justly exposed 
ourselves to God's wrath, and that our hearts do renounce all sin, and that we 
•love Him above all, and are willing for his sake to forsake all, and that we do 
give up ourselves to be entirely and forever his, &c. Such things as these do 
as much belong to the essence of Christianity, as the belief of any of the doc- 
trines of the gospel: and therefore the profession of them does as much belong 
to a Christian profession.' 

'They should profess their faith in Jesus Christ, and that they embrace 
Christ, and rely upon Him as their Savior, with their whole hearts, and that 
they do joyfully entertain the gospel of Christ. Thus Philip, in order to bap- 
tizing the eunuch, required that he should profess that he believed with all his 
heart.' 

' For persons to profess those things wherein the essence of Christianity lies, 
is the same thing as to profess that they experience those things. Thus for per- 
sons solemnly to profess, that, in a sense and full conviction of their own utter 
sinfulness, misery, and impotence, and totally undone state as in themselves, 
and their just desert of God's utter rejection and eternal wrath, without mercy, 
and the utter insufficiency of their own righteousness, or any thing in them, to 
satisfy divine justice, or recommend them to God's favor, they do only and en- 
tirely depend on the Lord Jesus Christ, and his satisfaction and righteousness: 
that they do with all their hearts believe the truth of the gospel of Christ; and 
that in a full conviction and sense of his sufficiency and perfect excellency as 
a Savior, as exhibited in the gospel, they do with their whole souls cleave to 
Him, and acquiesce in Him, as the refuge and rest of their souls, and fountain 
of their comfort; that they repent of their sins, and utterly renounce all sin, 
and give up themselves wholly to Christ, willingly subjecting themselves to 
Him as their King; that they give Him their hearts and their whole man: * 

****** I say, for persons solemnly to profess such 
Things as these, as in the presence of God, is the same thing, as to profess that 
they are conscious of, or do experience such thing in their hearts.' 

5. We shall now offer our readers a few quotations from 
hymns which are favorites with the saints, not merely as 
showing the sentiments of their authors, but as expressing 
the hearts of the people of God. 

'Love so amazing, so divine, 
Demands my soul, my life, my all.' 
' Thee my new Master now I call, 
And consecrate to Thee my all.' 
'Creatures no more divide my choice, 
I bid them all depart.' 
' Here, Lord, I give myself away, 

'Tis all that I can do.' 
' Welcome, welcome, dear Redeemer, 

Welcome to this heart of mine; 
Lord, I make a full surrender, 
Every power and thought be thine: 

Thine entirely, — 

Through eternal ages thine. ' 

' Had I a thousand hearts to give. 

Lord, they should all be thine.' 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 



137 



Is this the language of truth, or of fulsome flattery? Do 
the saints tell the Lord that they would give him a thousand 
hearts if they had them, and yet not give him the whole of 
the single heart they really have? We believe they tell him 
the simple truth, and that, therefore, they are not in sin 
when this is their natural language. We might, as every 
one knows, quote much more Christian, devotional poetry in 
the same strain; but we have quoted enough to show what is 
the breathing of the hearts of God's saints in spite of pre- 
posterous theories. 

OB JECTIONS. 

1. We shall first consider the passages of scripture which 
are supposed to be against the doctrine defended in this arti- 
cle. The doctrine with which we are at present concerned 
is not that of the simplicity of moral actions, nor that of the 
constant sinlessness of such as have been converted, hut sim- 
ply this, that nothing short of present entire conformity to 
the divine law is accepted of God. Now, we admit, that if it 
could be made out that the Scriptures represent the saints as 
constantly sinful, this would be fatal to our view, though then 
we should be at a loss to interpret the numerous texts we 
have cited so as to make them harmonize with the texts ad- 
duced against us. But no texts proving or appearing to prove 
that converted persons sometimes sin or that they always 
continue to possess some degree of holiness, would lie at all 
against the views we defend in this article. 

We think that candid, impartial persons, after reading and 
pondering the multitude of seemingly decisive texts which we 
have cited, would conclude that it was beforehand improbable 
that passages should be found in the word of God declaring 
beyond the possibility of mistaking their meaning the contin- 
ual sinfulness of the saints. Such minds would naturally in- 
quire whether the laws of interpretation would not admit of a 
different explanation of such passages, especially as, at least 
at first view, it appears much more consonant with the char- 
acter of God that he should forgive only such as put away 
all their sin. 

(1.) In 1 Kings 8: 46, we find the passage, c If they sin 
against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou 
be angry with them and deliver them to the enemy,' &c. 
This text cannot teach the perpetual sinfulness of the saints: 
for (v. 48,) the offenders are supposed to repent ' with all 
their heart and with all their soul' of the verv sin here spoken 
12* 



138 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

of. It is therefore ridiculous to quote such a text in support 
of that dogma. Besides, the conditional particle ?/at the be- 
ginning, shows that the sin is not spoken of as what would 
certainly take place, and favors the view of those who think 
that the parenthesis ought to be rendered, L for there is no man 
who may not wn,' a translation which the Hebrew equally ad- 
mits. And finally, the very terms of this passage itself in- 
contestably show, that while men continue in such sin as is 
here spoken of, God is angry with them, so that they are lia- 
ble to be delivered up to their enemies; and Solomon asks 
that they may be restored to the divine favor only if they re- 
turn to God from such sin "with all their heart and with all 
their soul."' How far docs such a passage as this prove that 
the saints are in a state of acceptance even when polluted 
with present sin? 

(2.) l There is not a just man that liveth on the earth that 
doeth good and sinneth not' Ec. 7: 20. Gesenius, in his 
Lexicon (p. 858, Prof. Robinson's translation) explains fc There 
is not a just man on the earth that doeth good and never sin- 
neth.' Thus understood, (and who can show that the inter- 
pretation is not sound?) the text is far distant from opposition 
to the doctrine of this article. 

(3.) ; I know it is so of a truth; but how should man be 
just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot an- 
swer him one of a thousand.' — Job 9: 2, 3. These are the 
words of Job, not speaking by inspiration, but expressing his 
opinion, as any pious man of the present day might do. If 
therefore the words meant all that the objector supposes they 
do, they would possess no more authority than the words of 
Eliphaz the Temanite, or Zophar the Naamathite, or Bildad 
the Shuite, except as he was a better and wiser man than any 
of them; for he too could l darken counsel by words without 
knowledge.' The sayings of each of these worthies are not 
seldom quoted as if they possessed divine authority, and even 
the sayings in the Bible of a less respectable personage, who 
shall be nameless. The doctrine of the Book of Job taken 
as a whole, is of divine authority, but the utterances of the 
different interlocutors, except God himself, are no more divine 
than the words of Luther, Calvin, Whitefield, or Wesley. 
Thus much in general on citations from Job. But the words 
cited say nothing at all on the question of constant sinfulness. 
They speak only of the numberless sins of which every man 
in the course of his life has been guilty, so that on the ground 
of law, which requires sinless perfection from the commence- 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 



139 



ment of moral agency, no man can be just with God. The 
words might be properly employed by a saint who had been 
a thousand years in heaven. 

In a similar manner we are to interpret Ps. 130: 3, ' If 
thou Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? 
But there is forgiveness in thee that thou mayest be feared.' 
Who, uninfluenced by a theory in need of support, would re- 
sort to such a text as this? Not a syllable is dropped from 
which we could gather that the Psalmist refers to present sin. 
Is it for present, and of course, unrepented sin. that there is 
forgiveness with the Lord? 

' May one be pardoned and retain the offence?' 
Ps. 143: 2, ' Enter not into judgment with thy servant; 
for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.' What 
word is here which tells us that the suppliant speaks of pre- 
sent sin? It is God's way to grant mercy to those who 
4 confess and forsake their sins;' does the Psalmist ask the 
Holy One to deal with him, as to part of his sin, on an oppo- 
site principle? 

(4.) ' But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our right- 
eousnesses are as filthy rags.' — Is. 64: 6. The prophet here 
speaks in the name of the backslidden Jews, who, as he says 
in the immediate context, ' were all fading like a leaf, and 
whose iniquities, like the wind, had taken them away — from 
whom God had hidden his face, and whom he had consumed 
because of their iniquities.' Does such a passage as this prove 
that the saints are always more or less in sin? Yet in this 
sense it is often cited, and it is deemed orthodox for those 
who, like Enoch, walk with God, to say, ' All our righteous- 
nesses are as filthy rags!' Nothing can be plainer than it is 
that the prophet is speaking, not of those who enjoy God's 
favor, but of such as suffer the most terrific judgments for 
their sins. On the other hand vs. 4, 5, speak of the manner 
in which God deals with those who obey Him according to 
his requirement. l For from the beginning men have not 
heard, nor given ear to, nor hath eye seen a god besides 
Thee, who doeth such things for those who trust in Him. 
Thou makest peace with him that rejoices to practice right- 
eousness, those that remember Thee in Thy ways.' — (Barnes 
on v. 4, Gesenius on v. 5.) Thus this text, instead of dis- 
proving the doctrine we advocate, appears, when taken with 
its context, decidedly to sustain it. 

(5.) ' And it [see vs. 36, 37,] shall be upon Aaron's fore- 
head that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things 



140 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy 
gifts.' — Ex. 28: 38. The true meaning of this text may be 
more satisfactorily ascertained by comparing Nu. 18: 1; Lev. 
10: 17; Isa. 53: 6, 11; Jn. 1: 29; Heb. 9: 28; 1 Pet. 2: 
24. We adopt the interpretation suggested by these refer- 
ences found in Bagstcr's Bible. According to this, 4 the in- 
iquity of the holy things,' is not the iniquity practised in of- 
fering them, but the iniquity for which, by means of them, 
typical atonement was to be made. The priests and the vic- 
tims were both necessary to constitute a type of the Great 
High Priest and Sacrifice who makes real atonement for the 
people of God, and they were both therefore said ' to bear 
the iniquity of the congregation of the Lord.' 4 The iniqui- 
ty of the sanctuary and the iniquity of the priesthood,' — Nu. 
18: 1, may be likewise the iniquity for which the rites of the 
Sanctuary and the services of the priests made atonement. 
Other references in Bagster's middle column indicate another 
interpretation, namely, that, as Aaron and his sons offered 
the holy things in behalf of the people, if they sinned in so 
sacred a service, with * Holiness to the Lord' written on their 
foreheads, they must bear their iniquity, that is, be visited 
with judgments for it, even if they repented. But while this 
explanation suits well Nu. 18: 1; Lev. 22: 9; Ex. 29: 43, 
and other similar passages, we think the other is much pre- 
ferable for Ex. 28: 38. But neither expiation gives the least 
support to the doctrine of the constant sinfulness of the 
saints. The passage contains no intimation that sin is al- 
ways mixed with holy duties. When, therefore, persons pray 
1 Forgive us the iniquity of our holy things,' meaning iniquity 
mixed even with the utterance of these very words, they 
pray thus without warrant from the word of God. 

(6.) c Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure 
from my sin?' — Pro v. 20: 9. This text sounds as if it were 
much more in point than any other text which we have ever 
heard quoted. No one can intelligently deny that such 
interrogative sentences are often intended as a form to express 
a universal negative, including an appeal for the universal 
negative answer to the common sense and common candor 
of the reader. But that this is not always the import of such 
questions is plain from an example in this very book, 31: 10, 
c Who can find a virtuous woman?' The context renders it 
plain that the writer did not mean to intimate that there were 
no virtuous women, nor even that there were not many, but 
that they were scarce in comparison with the multitude of 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 141 

women of a different character. In like manner the passage 
we are considering, may not mean that there are no persons 
in the world who have 'cleansed their hearts and washed their 
hands in innocency,' (Ps. 73: 13,) but only that such persons 
are comparatively rare — that 'strait is the gate and narrow 
is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find 
it.' In other very emphatic ways the prophets set forth the 
fewness of the righteous, especially in times of declension. 
Thus Jeremiah, at a time when certainly a few righteous 
might have been found in Jerusalem, says, 'Run ye to and 
fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know 
and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, 
if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the 
truth; and I will pardon it.' 

Another explanation may be suggested. There is a sense 
in which none but God is good, and certainly the goodness 
of the saints, though it be sinless, is in this world but a frail, 
weak thing compared with what it will be ages hence. The 
hurt done by sin to the adjustments of the passions and ap- 
petites, the power of habit, and the associative and cognitive 
nature, must be great and must take long to heal. Fact 
shows how often good men are tempted and fall into sin — the 
dangers which lodge in them and beset them are imminent. 
It is not for them yet to sing the song of everlasting triumph, 
and, as if a final victory, certainly never to be followed by 
the least disaster, were achieved, to shout, 'I have made my 
heart clean — I am pure from my sin!' The Red Sea is cross- 
ed — Jordan is passed — the last Canaanite is slain — and I am 
settled in eternal peace in the promised land. 

We have heard another explanation still, which supposes 
that the sacred writer refers to the obligations of God's saints 
to grace — to the fact that God is the great author of their 
purification and not they themselves. ' Who can say, / have 
made my heart clean, I am [therefore] pure from my sin?' 
Were the emphatic /in the original, this explanation would 
have much to recommend it. We do not say that the absence 
of the emphatic pronoun is decisive against it; but to us it 
seems less probable than either of the preceding interpreta- 
tions. Any one of the three which we have given, renders 
the passage entirely consonant with our views. 

(7.) 'If I justify myself my own mouth shall condemn me; 
if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.' — Job 
9: 20. The observations made on a passage previously cited 
from Job, apply also here, that did the citation mean what 



142 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

the objector supposes it does, it would contain no divine tes- 
timony to his doctrine. The words are Job's and are entitled 
only to the weight of a wise and good man's opinion uttered 
at the very dawn of revelation, and therefore not nearly so 
likely to be sound as the opinion of an equally wise and good 
man of the present incomparably more enlightened age. But 
be this as it may, the passage before us can, we think, be sat- 
isfactorily shown to contain no such meaning as the objector's 
cause demands. The current interpretation evinces an utter 
ignorance or forgetfulness of the established use of the word 
here rendered perfect. It is used Job 1: 1; 8: 20; 9: 20, 
21, 22; Ps. 37: 37; and Gen. 25: 27, in which last passage, 
as Gesenius in his lexicon remarks, it seems to designate the 
character of Jacob as contrasted with the wilder and more 
ferocious character of Esau. In all tne other texts it denotes 
substantially the same as the words upright, righteous, and is 
never used to denote a character to which a good man at 
peace with God might not lay claim. Thus the writer of the 
book, 1 : 1, calls Job perfect; Bildad speaks of good men whom 
God will not cast away aspeifcct; and Job himself in the im- 
mediate context of our passage says of God, 'He destroys 
the perfect and the wicked,' by which classes he plainly means 
simply the upright and the wicked. The Psalmist says, 
'Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of 
that man is peace.' Here plainly real living saints are men- 
tioned under the designation of perfect. Why such a word 
(and all its cognates) is so used, the objector might, perhaps, 
do well to ponder. What then does the passage mean? Mr. 
Barnes has, in our judgment, entirely missed its import both 
in his translation and commentary, excellent as his work in 
general is. Rosenmuller on the other hand in his Compen- 
dium has hit it exactly. Job represents that in a judicial con- 
test with God, the great and dreadful and infinitely wise One 
— frail man would have no chance. Should he please so to 
employ his infinite powers, he could confound him if his 
cause were ever so good, and turn every thing to his disad- 
vantage. In his awful presence he would not know his soul, 
he would despise his life. Therefore he would not answer 
him — he would rather humbly make supplication to his Judge. 
In that imagined unequal contest, says Job, 

If I should be righteous, my own mouth would condemn me; 
If I should be perfect, it would make me perverse; 
If I should be perfect, I should not know my soul — I should look upon 
my life with contempt. 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 143 

The citation in Rosenmuller from the celebrated Albert 
Schultens, is so striking, that we will venture a translation 
of it. 'Even if I were righteous, yet I should not recognize 
my soul, I should disapprove my life, that is, even if I were 
plainly sound and conscious to myself of no stain, jet that 
bright consciousness could not sustain me against the infinite 
splendor of divine exaltation and majesty, but, however well 
known to myself, I should be compelled to be ignorant of my 
own soul, and to disapprove, condemn, and despise a life 
passed in virtue and integrity.' 

Did Job really mean that in the fancied trial, his cause 
would be actually a bad one, and not merely made to appear 
bad by the infinite superiority of his imagined opponent, the 
uniform import of the word here rendered perfect, and that of 
its cognates, would compel us to conclude that here Job con- 
fesses that his three friends are in the right in their contro- 
versy, that he is indeed an arrant hypocrite, and that the af- 
flictions he suffers are the overwhelming divine testimony to 
his masked baseness. But neither with this, nor with any 
other interpretation than the one we have given from Rosen- 
muller and Schultens, can the words traslated in the English 
Bible, 4 If I justify myself,' be made to agree. These words, 
by the laws of the Hebrew language, never can mean, If I 
pretend to be righteous, or If 1 try to make out that I am right- 
eous, but must mean, If I am really righteous, if I really have 
a good cause. Our English version, if the translators knew 
what they were about, must mean, 4 If I should really make 
out my case, my resistless opponent would turn even my 
good arguments against me.' And since the words rendered 
4 If I say I am, perfect,' merely resume the same idea in pos- 
sibly somewhat stronger terms, they cannot be meant of pre- 
tended but must refer to real perfection, whatever may be 
the sense of the word translated perfect, 

(8.) u If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, 
and the truth is not in us.' This text is relied on as confi- 
dently by objeqtors as any text in the Bible; but, in our ap- 
prehension, for no solid reason. The meaning turns upon 
the signification of the word ' sin,' or rather the original word 
so translated. The principal significations given in Robin- 
son's Lexicon of the New Testament are as follows: 4 1. Ab- 
erration from the truth, error. 2. Sin, that is, aberration 
from a prescribed law or rule of duty, either in general, or 
spoken of particular sins. 3. From the Hebrew, the imputa- 
tion or consequences of sin, the guilt and punishment of sin. 



144 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

* * So Wo have sin,' that is, to be guilty and liable to 
punishment, Jn. 9: 41; 15: 22, 24; 1 Jn. 1: 8; 1 Cor. 15: 
17, ' Ye are yet in your sins,' that is, arc still under the guilt 
and exposed to the punishment of jour sins.' So Bretsch- 
neider: ' To have sin, culpam habere,' that is to be blamewor- 
thy or justly liable to punishment. This writer also refers to 
Jn. 1:8. If the views of these masterly lexicographers are 
correct, 1 Jn 1: 8, has nothing to do with the question wheth- 
er the saints are perpetually in sin in the sense of moral pol- 
lution. The passage means simply, If we say that we have 
no blameworthiness [on account of sins no matter when com- 
mitted] needing atoning blood and pardoning mercy, we de- 
ceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Thus the first part 
of the verse means the same with the first part of verse 10th 
while the concluding members have quite different imports: 
fc If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the 
truth is not in us. Not only so, but if we say if we have 
not sinned, we commit the awful crime of making God a liar, 
and his word is not in us.' Even Calvin says on this text, 
4 By the name of sin not only depraved and vicious inclina- 
tion is here denoted, but blameworthiness, [culpa] which tru- 
ly renders us guilty before God.' The learned lexicograph- 
ers and critics before quoted, justly exclude from their defi- 
nition ' depraved and vicious inclination,' and confine the 
sense wholly to desert of punishment, guilt, which may exist 
and will exist, aside from mercy in Christ, in all the redeemed 
saints, sinless in heaven, to all eternity. 

" When I rise to worlds unknown, 
And behold Thee on Thy throne, 
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee." 

The context demands the interpretation we have given. 
In vs. 6, 7, the apostle says, ' If we say that we have fellow- 
ship with Him, and walk in darkness, [that is, in sin,] we lie 
and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light as He is in 
the light, we have fellowship one with another, [that is, God 
and we have fellowship,] and the blood of Jesus Christ his 
Son cleanseth us from all sin.' The last clause relates, not 
to moral purification, but to the atoning blood which makes 
purification for the guilt of the soul — in other words, it refers 
to the justifying, and not the sanctifying efficacy of the Sa- 
vior's work. This is the view of Calvin. « This,' says he, 
'is an illustrious passage, from which we learn, that the ex- 
piation obtained by the blood of Christ properly belongs to 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 145 

us, when we cultivate righteousness with a right affection of 
heart.' But if we say that we have no sin, no sin in the 
sense of guilt, ill-desert, needing cleansing by that blood, we 
deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If, on the other 
hand, we confess the sins by which we have contracted this 
ill-desert, God is faithful and righteous to forgive them, and 
thus, by not imputing it, to cleanse us from all iniquity. The 
use of l sm5,' in v. 6, instead of ; sin,' proves that sin is used 
in v. 8 in the sense of ill-desert; for though we may commit 
a sin in one moment, we presume the objector will not con- 
tend that the apostle meant to teach that every man is self- 
deceived and destitute of the truth, who thinks that he is not 
every moment committing sins. The whole context appears 
to us, to treat, not of moral defilement and sanctification, but 
of guilt and forgiveness, and the conditions on which forgive- 
ness is exercised. The phrase, then, to have sin, in v. 8, 
refers, not to present moral defilement, but guilt, ill-desert, 
resulting from sin or sins, committed, — ivhen, the phrase does 
not at all determine. 

(9.) t In many things we offend all.' — Ja. 3: 2. It is no 
part of the object of this article to prove that Christians nev- 
er sin, nor to prove that they do not often sin. The text be- 
fore us will possess no force to support the objectors' cause, 
till he points out in it some word signifying continually, all 
the time, or constantly, or till he proves that men may not be- 
come sinless, and then again fall into iniquity. This last men- 
tioned notion he cannot establish, unless he proves that the 
first sin of Adam and the fallen angels, was owing to a germ 
in them of undeveloped depravity. Nor even then will 
his case be made out, till he shows that his particular in- 
stances fall under a universal law. 

(10.) t Not'as though I had already attained, either were 
already perfect; but I follow after, if I may apprehend that 
for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren. 
I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing 
I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching 
forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the 
mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Je- 
sus.' — Phil. 3: 1*2 — 14. An erroneous translation of one 
word has alone occasioned this glorious passage to be cited to 
prove the dogma of constant moral imperfection in the saints. 
Prof. Robinson, in his Lexicon, p. 812, has corrected this 
mistake. His interpretation is, 4 Not that I have already 



146 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

completed my course, and arrived at the goal, so as to receive 
the prize.' We will paraphrase slightly according to the 
true sense. ' I do not act as if I had already received the 
prize, or had completed my course; but I follow after if that 
I may lay hold on that, in order that I might gain which, I 
have been laid hold on by Christ Jesus. Brethren, while I 
am in the race, I do not act as if I had gained the crown; but 
this one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, 
and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press 
toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in 
Christ Jesus.' Thus understood, the passage exhibits the 
apostle as an illustrious example of the full performance of 
all the duties of the Christian race — one of which cannot be, 
to be all the time at the goal. But he who runs lawfully, 
will receive the prize whenever the great Judge shall be 
pleased to terminate the race. 

(11.) ; Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts 
of the flesh; for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the 
Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the 
other; so that ye cannot [more literally, in order that ye may 
not] do the things that ye would.' — Gal. 5: 16, 17. It is 
characteristic of impenitent sinners, that they 'fulfil the de- 
sires [margin, wilts, that is, wouldings, thelcmataJ] of the flesh.' 
But, in order that his people may not do this, God has placed 
his Spirit in them, to oppose and govern these desires. 
c Walk in the Spirit,' says the apostle, and ye shall not fulfil 
them; for, for this very end God has given you the Holy 
Ghost." But how strange Paul's argument appears, if we 
suppose it to run thus: 'Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not 
fulfil the lusts of the flesh; for there is such a struggle within 
you, between the flesh and the Spirit, that it is impossible for 
you to obey the Spirit's monitions.' To say the least, the 
first view presents a little greater encouragement to a soul 
that would be holy. Macknight, who in the main supports 
the current view, insists, however, that the apostle cannot 
mean 4 so that you can at no time do the things that ye would;' 
for ' how absurd,' says he, ; would it have been for the apos- 
tle to command the Galatians not to fulfil the lusts of the 
flesh, for this reason, that they could not at any time do the 
things which their reason and conscience inclined!' This 
view of Macknight is not opposed to the argument we are 
presenting; but still, we think it quite evident that the ex- 
planation first given is the true one. It is not new, but was 
adopted by Storr, one of the great bulwarks of the Gospel in 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 147 

Germany, against Neology. (See Flatt, Vorlesungen uebcr 
die Briefe an die Galater &c.) 

(12.) 'If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as 
with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth 
not?' — Heb. 12: 7, and see the context. The argument of 
the objector is, that chastening implies sinfulness, and that 
therefore, the children of God are always in some degree of 
sin. But what is the case when the pain of the discipline has 
passed away, and it has ' yielded the happy fruit of right- 
eousness?' The saints are sometimes (if need be) in heavi- 
ness through manifold trials; but not always are they in 
heaviness with a discipline which chastises their present faults. 
We deny that chastening always implies present sin, though 
it may exert upon the soul a salutary disciplinary influence. 
David's sin had been put away when he lost his child, and 
when Absalom was permitted to drive him from his throne, 
as a chastisement for his crimes in the matter of Uriah. It 
was so too, when the pestilence was sent to scourge him and 
his people. In fact, our own sufferings, as well as the wit- 
nessed sufferings of others, may confirm us in a virtue alrea- 
dy attained, and unmixed with sin. ' It is plainly conceiva- 
ble,' says Bishop Butler, ' that creatures without blemish as 
they came out of the. hands of God, may be in danger of go- 
ing wrong, and so may stand in need of the security of vir- 
tuous habits, additional to the moral principles, wrought into 
their natures by him. * * And as they are naturally ca- 
pable of being raised and improved by discipline, it may be 
a thing fit and requisite, that they should be placed in cir- 
cumstances with an eye to it — in circumstances peculiarly 
fitted to be, to them, a state of discipline for their improve- 
ment in virtue. * * Upright creatures may want to be 
improved.' — Analogy, Part I, ch. 5. If these observations 
of the great Butler are true even of creatures who never 
have fallen, how much more are they true of beings, the ad- 
justments of whose mental and animal constitution have been 
disturbed by sin, even though that sin may exist no longer in 
their hearts! Prest. Edwards, speaking even of the angels, 
(Works, vol. 8, p. 524.) says, L They had their hearts confirm- 
ed in obedience by habit and custom, having long persevered 
in perfect obedience, and having often overcome under trials 
which they had.' 

(13.) ''Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord 
and Savior Jesus Christ.' — 2 Peter, 3: 18. If this passage 
proves the constant sinfulness of Christians, it must mean, 



148 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

" Gradually leave off sin and gradually increase in holiness- 
till you become perfect, or sinless. But who cannot see that 
such a command would involve a license to sin in some de- 
gree? Our Lord Jesus Christ himself is said to have grown 
in favor [grace] with God and man, which could not have 
been, unless his moral excellence had really advanced. But 
his progress, surely, was not from more to less sin, but from a 
lower to a higher sinless perfection. Prest. Edwards, in the 
Miscellaneous Observations in vol. 8 of his works, endeavors 
to show that all the developments of the divine character in 
providence and grace, will advance all the holy creatures of 
God in holiness and happiness. Speaking of the general 
conflagration, p. 584, he observes, ' Such a wonderful and ter- 
rible display of the holiness and justice of God, will be a 
great means of further sanctifying all the elect universe, set- 
ting them at a vastly greater distance from sin against this 
holy God, and a means of vastly exalting the purity and 
sanctity of their miuds.' Those who fall in with these truly 
sublime words, will not think that the command, Grow in 
grace, implies the present sinfulness of those to whom it is 
addressed. 

2. It is said that we might as well interpret such expres- 
sions as l following the Lord wholly,' ; walking before Him 
with all the heart, or with a perfect heart,' of the sinlessness 
of the whole life, as explain them as we have done, and that 
our argument, therefore, proves too much. But it is a plainly 
just rule of interpretation, that we are to depart no farther 
from the natural, literal import of words than we are com- 
pelled to do. When we say, a man is a person of perfect 
veracity, facts might show that we did not mean to assert that 
he never swerved in the least from the truth; but strange 
would it seem to those who should find out that our meaning 
involved the idea, that in every word he uttered there was 
some mixture of lying. When we call a person good natured, 
we do not mean that he is never irritated or petulant, but we 
do mean that good nature is his habitual character. In like 
manner, the above remarkable expressions naturally denote 
at least the habitual character of the persons spoken of, and, 
so understood, call for no dilution of their native strength. It 
would be strange indeed if they were used of men who in not 
a solitary act of their lives ever t followed the Lord wholly,' 
or served Him l with the whole heart.' Strange would it be 
for God's truth, to say of a man, that he ' turned to the Lord 
with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might,* 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 149 

when not a single man since the fall ever for one moment did 
any such thing. 

The passage in 2 Chron., chs. 15, 16, respecting King Asa, 
is instructive, as showing that the expressions under consid- 
eration, do indeed refer to the habitual character. It is said 
of this king, that l his heart was perfect all his days.' But 
the seer Hanani rebukes him for his sin and folly in a certain 
transaction, and the faithful rebuke puts Asa into a rage. 
The angry monarch goes so far as to imprison the prophet, 
and at the same time oppresses some of the people, perhaps 
persons who applauded the courageous seer. Hanani em- 
ploys expressons in his rebuke which imply that Asa had, in 
the transaction alluded to, fallen from his habitual perfection, 
'The eyes of the Lord run to and -fro throughout the whole 
earth, to show himself strong in behalf of those whose heart 
is perfect towards Him.' These words plainly intimate, that 
Asa's heart was not perfect, and threaten him with the with- 
drawal of the protection of that strong arm which had hith- 
erto defended him from mighty hosts of foes. 

3. We have heard the objection urged, that the strong 
language used of some of the ancient saints, refers, not to 
their whole character at the time spoken of, but to some par- 
ticular parts of their conduct, as their devotion to monotheism 
in opposition to idolatry. But it is to be noted, that the pas- 
sages speak not of external doings, but of the heart. We 
not only admit, but contend, that the religion of the heart, 
will, both inwardly and in its outward manifestations, be mod- 
ified by the circumstances of the subject. But that a man 
should be perfect in some things and partial in others, we 
never can believe till the pregnant saying of the apostle 
James — Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend 
in one point, he is guilty of all — shall be blotted from the 
Bible. In whatever degree there is a heart for the practice 
of one virtue, there must be a heart for the practise of all. 
Even the heathen Aristotle held that all virtues must be pos- 
sessed by him who possesses one virtue; and this is the doc- 
trine of every theologian of whose writings we have any 
knowledge. Prof. Hodge of Princeton, does but express 
the common doctrine of philosophers and divines, when he 
says in his ' Way of Life,' p. 303, ' The man who is renewed 
in the spirit of his mind after the image of God, is one who 
has that moral excellence which expresses itself, according to 
its different objects and occasions, in all the graces of the 
Spirit.' 

13* 



150 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

4. It is objected, that our doctrine makes all the saints 
equal, except that some may be more constantly sinless than 
others. This objection implies, that the holiness of the 
heavenly world is at an eternal stand-still. The holiness of 
perfect finite beings, on the other hand, must be everlastingly 
progressive, because they will forever advance in knowledge 
and in the discipline of good habits, if not in capacity. Sin- 
lessness, it is true, docs not admit of degrees; but positive per- 
fection in holiness does. From the holiness of the pious child 
of five years old to that of Gabriel, the distance must be im- 
mense; and the strength of the archangel's virtue must be in- 
conceiveably greater than that of the infant soul that worships 
with him in heaven. So, likewise, had Paul, after his long 
career of discipline amidst toils and trials, and a man of equal 
capacity, but only just born to God, been both transferred 
together to the spirit-world, the holiness of the apostle would 
have far surpassed that of his new-born brother. Were the 
Creator now to give being to an archangel equal in capacity 
to Gabriel, Gabriel in holiness must still be his superior, by 
reason of the confirming influence of countless ages of virtu- 
ous habits, and the superior extent, accuracy and familiarity 
of his knowledge. We are, our readers will perceive, only 
echoing the before-quoted sentiments of Bishop Butler and 
President Edwards. 

5. The consciousness of the most eminent saints, is said 
to be against this doctrine. The consciousness of holy men, 
rightly interpreted, is good evidence, though we should be 
far from setting the alleged consciousness of any human be- 
ing against the manifest testimony of the Scriptures. But 
the citations from Edwards and from familiar hymns, will tell 
us what the consciousness of God's accepted children is in 
reality. The saints, according to Edwards, are c conscious 
that they do only and entirely depend on the Lord Jesus 
Christ and his satisfaction and righteousness; that they do, 
with all their hearts, believe the Gospel of Christ; that they 
do with all their souls, cleave to him and acquiesce in him as 
the refuge and rest of their souls, and fountain of their com- 
fort; that they repent of their sins, entirely renounce all sin, 
and give up themselves wholly to Christ, willingly subjecting 
themselves to him as their king; that they give him their hearts 
and their whole man.' — (Works, V. p. 282.) The hymns tell 
us the saints profess t that if they had a thousand hearts, they 
would give them all to the Lord.' We never met with a saint 
who appeared to be truly walking with God, and blessed 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 151 

with the joy of his salvation, who would decline singing this 
beautiful couplet. Now, when men are conscious, truly con- 
scious of all this, their holy, humble lives attesting their sin- 
cerity, their philosophy may tell them that sin is mixed with 
it all; their theological system and confession of faith may 
persuade them that the law of God is so wonderfully high, 
that it is horrible presumption for them to think that they real- 
ly ever obey it fully; they may endeavor, with Edwards, for- 
mally to prove that the holiest saints have in them more sin 
than holiness; but the Bible and emancipated common sense 
will decide that their consciousness is not against the doctrine 
of this article. 

6. Another objection is, that this doctrine leaves no room, 
on the part of accepted persons, for the confession of present 
sin. What is the Bible evidence that the saints in their ac- 
ceptable approaches to God, are expected to confess present 
sin, or that it was the custom of Bible saints to do so? With 
a view to determine this question, we have examined the 
whole book of Psalms and the most remarkable penitential 
prayers in the other books of Scripture, and we have found 
no such confession. To say the least, they are few and far be- 
tween, while confessions of past sins and of ill-desert on ac- 
count of them, are as abundant as could be wished. Indeed, 
how could sin in the very act of prayer be confessed by per- 
sons who believed that ' if they regarded iniquity in their 
heart the Lord would not hear them.' They knew that they 
must put it fully away before they could reasonably expect 
an answer, instead of keeping enough of it in them c to damn 
a whole world,' as the way of expressing it sometimes is. 

7. The doctrine of this article, it is alleged, necessarily 
leads to the conclusion, that the saints do not need the con- 
stant advocacy of Christ, and that the Scripture doctrine of 
remission of sins is false. This objection is partly contained 
in the extracts from Dr. Beecher, and partly in the following 
passage translated from Calvin's comment on Lu. 1 : 6 — ' In 
brief, Luke has embraced in these two words, [commandments 
and ordinances] the whole law. But, if in observing the law, 
Zacharias and Elizabeth were irreprehensible, they had no 
need of the grace of Christ; for a full observance of the law, 
confers life, and where there is no transgression of it, guilt 
also ceases. I reply that those praises with which the serv- 
ants of God are so splendidly adorned, are to be taken with 
some exception. For we ought to consider how God acts 
with them, namely, according to the covenant which he has 



152 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

made with them, whose first head is gratuitous reconciliation, 
and the daily pardon by which He remits their sins. They 
are, therefore, reckoned just and irreprehensible, since their 
whole life being a sort of exemplar of sanctity, testifies that 
they are devoted to righteousness, that the fear of God reigns 
in them. But since their pious zeal is far distant from per- 
fection, it cannot, without pardon, please God, Wherefore, 
the righteousness which is praised in them, depends on God's 
gratuitous indulgence by which it takes place, that he does 
not impute what unrighteousness remains in them. It is ne- 
cessary thus to expound whatever is contained in the Scrip- 
tures respecting the righteousness of men, that it may not 
overset the remission of sins, on which it rests as a building 
on ils foundation." When we read such passages as this, 
and the extract from Dr. Beecher, we feel strongly inclined 
to fall in with a saying we have met with somewhere, that it 
takes great men to put forth great nonsense. For about 
what, pray, is the advocacy of Christ employed? About sin, 
of which men repent, or which they retain? l Hereby,' says 
John, speaking of Christ as our Advocate, i do we know that 
we know Him, if we keep his commandments; he that saith, 
I know Him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, 
and the truth is not in him.' And what sin is remitted? 
That which is ; broken off by righteousness' — or that which 
still remains in the heart? Or, does God forgive both kinds? 
Is it the Bible doctrine, that if a man will put away the great- 
er part of his sin, God will, for Christ's sake, forgive him 
the whole ? How, in principle, does this differ from the Ro- 
mish doctrine of indulgences, against which the great and ex- 
cellent Calvin was as unmerciful as even his heroic compeer, 
Luther? The Scriptures always conjoin repentance with re- 
mission; and what is repentance of sin but its abandonment? 
The remission can be no broader than the repentance. To 
suppose that Christ pardons unrepented iniquity, and covers 
it with his own spotless robe, is to make him the enemy of 
the law and the minister of sin. Would not the law have a 
right to complain if a totally impenitent soul were forgiven? 
Could the blood and righteousness of even the Son of God 
make such a procedure square with rectitude? But the least 
sin is hostility to the law; and were there a race of sinners 
in the universe none of whom were guilty of any more than 
the least iniquity possible, how could one of them be par- 
doned without repentance? But were they to remain impen- 
itent, they would, by the supposition, each cherish no more 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 153 

sin than what false theory places in the bosom of the purest 
saint on earth. On what principle, then, could one be for- 
given, and the other be sent to hell forever? We believe 
that all would decide, that such a race of sinners must be 
lost, if they failed to put away their sin, that is, to become 
sinless; for the supposition is, that their sin is the least possible. 
On the same principle we argue that there is no righteous ground 
to excuse mankind from complete repentance. The doctrine 
of Calvin and Beechcr appears to us, to be fundamentally 
the same with the monstrous supralapsarian dogma of the 
justification of the elect from all eternity. 

8. Another objection, not absolutely distinct from the last 
mentioned, is, that this doctrine makes grace void, and intro- 
duces justification by law. We reply, that we fully believe 
in gratuitous justification by faith, and that our doctrine 
only requires that faith, in order to justify, should not 
be alone; but, as the Westminster Confession speaks, 
'ever be accompanied with all the saving graces, yielding 
obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, 
and embracing the promises of God, for this life and that 
which is to come.' Legal righteousness is unremitted obedi- 
ence to the law of God from the commencement of moral 
agency. Hence legal justification is justification on the 
ground of merit, a just claim on reward, — a justification to 
which no one who has ever sinned can have any title what- 
ever. On the other hand, as Paul tells us, Rom. 4: 6 — 8; 
David, Ps. 32, describes gracious justification, 'Blessed is he 
whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Bless- 
ed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in 
whose spirit there is no guile'' — [remisness, slackness, sloth.] 
At no height of holiness to which he will ever attain on 
earth or in heaven, will the pardoned sinner ever forget, that 
for his past sins he deserves to be in hell, and that he stands 
by faith in the Lamb of God, that bore the sin of the world. 
Forever will the redeemed of Christ sing, 

' Should my tears forever flow, 
Should my zeal no languor know, 
This for sin could not atone; 
Thou must save, and Thou alone.' 

9. The last objection which we shall at present consider, 
is, that the doctrine of this article does away the need of 
Christ's continual spiritual aid. This objection, which is one 
of Dr. Bcecher's, proceeds on the supposition, that the sole 
ground of our dependence on Christ, is present sinfulness. 



154 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

But this is not our view, nor is it the view of most evangeli- 
cal divines. The orthodox doctrine is. that all creatures are 
dependent on God for holiness, free agents though they be; 
and that the saints will be everlastingly kept holy in heaven, 
through the indwelling Spirit of Christ. To be consistent, 
Dr. Beecher must maintain, that when the saints get to 
heaven, they derive no more spiritual supplies in the way of 
aid from the Sop of God. Thenceforward they are indepen- 
dent, or derive their aid from God out of Christ, whose spir- 
itual connection with them is sundered forever. But, accord- 
ing to our doctrine, it will be eternally true, that the saints 
will be holy through their oneness in the participation of the 
Spirit with the Son of God, he being the vine, and they the 
branches. And fit it is, that those who have sinned, should 
everlastingly stand accepted only in the Beloved, and in Him 
receive all the sanctifying influences and joyous communica- 
tions by which they forever go onward and upward in holi- 
ness and bliss. 

Our article has grown on our hands to a greater length 
than we expected. We wished to remark on a number of 
additional topics — on the tendency of the doctrine we oppose, 
to discourage and sadden the hearts of the righteous whom 
God hath not made sad, — on its adaptedness to nourish the 
hopes of hypocrites, — on its tendency to lead sinners to re- 
turn to the Lord, like treacherous Judah, feignedly, and not 
with all the heart — and on some professed principles of ob- 
jectors, which necessarily involve the very doctrine they 
deny. 

In conclusion, we cannot think it arrogant to say, that 
those who venture to maintain, that the many passages of 
God's word, which in so strong language demand the whole 
heart, in order to acceptance, are to be taken with qualifica- 
tions, are solemnly bound, either to point out those qualifica- 
tions in the Holy Scriptures, and not merely to refer us to 
the deductions of a doubtful human theology, — or to aban- 
don a position apparently so dangerous to souls, nor continue 
to proclaim a doctrine which mars the Gospel, and in princi- 
ple makes void the law. If the Bible can be shown to be 
against us, we trust that we shall bow with humble submis- 
sion to its authority, nor proceed further to darken counsel 
by words without knowledge. But while the Bible appears 
plainly to teach us these views, we dare not abandon them, 
nor dare we cease proclaiming them, though all the Augus- 
tines, Luthers, Calvins, Westminster Assemblies, Theologi- 






OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 155 

cal Seminaries, and learned Theologians in the universe were 
against us. ' Let God be true, but every man a liar.' But 
it is delightful to us, to think, that however in appearance 
divided on this great subject, the church of the living God 
are in heart and aim c perfectly joined together in the same 
mind and in the same judgment' May God hasten the day 
when the wood, hay zmd stubble which any of us may have 
unwittingly placed in the edifice of truth, may be burned 
away by the salutary fires of faithful, fraternal discussion, 
and naught be left in its strong and beautiful walls,' but gold, 
silver, and precious stones." 

5. Perseverance in faith and obedience or in consecration 
to God, is also an unalterable condition of justification or of 
pardon and acceptance with God. By this language in this 
connection, you will of course understand me to mean that 
perseverance in faith and obedience is a condition, not of 
present, but of final or ultimate acceptance and salvation. 

Those who hold that justification by imputed righteous- 
ness is a forensic proceeding, take a view of final or ulti- 
mate justification according with their view of the nature 
of the transaction. With them, faith is the condition of re- 
ceiving imputed righteousness and a judicial justification. 
The first act of faith, according to them, introduces the 
sinner into this relation and obtains for him a perpetual jus- 
tification. They maintain that after this first act of faith, it 
is impossible for the sinner to come into condemnation, but 
that he being once justified, is always thereafter justified 
whatever he may do; indeed that he is never justified upon 
condition that he ceases to sin; that Christ's righteousness, 
and not his own present obedience, is the condition of his 
justification, so that in fact his own present or future obedi- 
ence to the law of God, is in no case and in no sense a con- 
dition of his justification present or ultimate. 

Now this is certainly another gospel from the one I am 
inculcating. It is not a difference merely upon some specu- 
lative or theoretic point. It is a point fundamental to the 
gospel and to salvation if any one can be. Let us therefore 
see which of these is the true gospel. 

I object to this view of justification: 

1. That it is antinomianism. Observe: they hold that upon 
the first exercise of faith the soul enters into such a relation 
to Christ, that with respect to it the penalty of the Divine 
law is forever set aside, not only as it respects all past, but 



156 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

also as it respects all future acts of disobedience; so that sin 
does not thereafter bring the soul under the condemning sen- 
tence of the law of God. But a precept without a penalty, 
is no law. Therefore if the penalty is in their case perma- 
nently set aside or repealed, this is and must be a virtual re- 
peal of the precept, for without a penalty it is only counsel 
or advice, and no law. 

2. But again: it is impossible that this view of justification 
should be true; for God is not the author of the moral law. 
It did nof originate in his arbitrary will, and he can not abro- 
gate it either as to its precept or its penalty. He may for 
good and sufficient reasons dispense in certain cases with the 
execution of the penalty. But set it aside in such a sense 
that sin would not incur it, or that the soul that sins shall 
not be condemned by it, he can not. It is naturally impossi- 
ble! The Law is as unalterable and unrepealable both as to 
its precept and its penalty as the nature of God. It can not 
but be, in the very nature of things, that sin in any being, in 
any world, and at any time, will and must incur the penalty 
of the moral law. God may pardon as often as the soul 
sins, but to prevent real condemnation where there is siri, is 
not at the option of any being. 

3. But again: I object to the view of justification in ques- 
tion, that it is of course inconsistent with forgiveness or par- 
don. If justified by imputed righteousness, why pardon him 
whom the law accounts as already and perpetually and per- 
fectly righteous? Certainly it were absurd and impossible — 
for the law and the lawgiver to judicially justify a person on 
the ground of the perfect obedience of his substitute, and at 
the same time pardon him who is thus regarded as perfectly 
righteous. Especially must this be true of all sin committed 
subsequently to the first and justifying act of faith. If when 
once the soul has believed, it can no more come into condem- 
nation, it certainly can no more be forgiven. Forgiveness 
implies condemnation, and consists in setting aside the execu- 
tion of an incurred penalty. 

4. If the view of justification, I am opposing be true, it is 
altogether out of place for one who has once believed to ask 
for the pardon of sin. It is a downright insult to God and 
apostacy from Christ. It amounts according to their view of 
justification, to a denial of perpetual justification by imputed 
righteousness and to an acknowledgment of being con- 
demned. It must, therefore, imply a falling from grace to 
pray for pardon after the soul has once believed. 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 157 

5. According to this view of justification, all the prayers 
offered by the saints for the pardon of sins committed after 
their first act of faith, not even excepting the Lord's prayer, 
have all been wrong and impious, and have all been a vir- 
tual denial of a fundamental truth of the gospel. Shame on 
a theory from which such consequences irresistibly follow! 
The soul can not be pardoned unless it be condemned; for 
pardon is nothing else than setting aside the condemning 
sentence of the Divine law. 

6. But this view of justification is at war with the whole 
bible. This every where represents christians as condemned 
when they sin — teaches them to repent, confess, and pray 
for pardon — to betake themselves afresh to Christ as their 
only hope. The bible in almost every variety of manner 
represents perseverance in faith and obedience to the end as 
a condition of ultimate justification and final salvation. Let 
the following passages serve as examples of the manner in 
which the bible represents this subject: 

Ez. 18: 24. But when the righteous turneth away from his 
righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according 
to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he 
live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be 
mentioned; in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his 
sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. 

33: 13. When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall 
surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit 
iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but 
for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. 

Mat. 10: 22. And ye shall be hated of all men for my 
name's sake; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 

[Mat. 24: 13.] 

Jn. 15: 6. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a 
branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them 
into the fire, and they are btfrned. 

Rom 2: 4. Who will render to every man according to his 
deeds: 7. To them who by patient continuance in well-doing 
seek for glory, and honor, and immortality; eternal life. 

1 Cor. 9: 27. But I keep under my body, and bring it in- 
to subjection; lest that by any means when I have preached 
to others, I myself should be a cast-away. 

10: 12. Wherefore let him that thinketh he stand eth, take 
heed lest he fall. 

2 Cor. 6: 1. We then, as workers together with him, be- 
eeech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 

14 



158 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

Col. 1 : 23. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled 
and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which 
ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature 
which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister. 

Heb. 3: 6. But Christ as a Son over his own house; whose 
house are we, if we hold fast the confidence, and the rejoicing 
of the hope firm unto the end. 12. Take heed, brethren, lest 
there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing 
from the living God. 13. But exhort one another daily, 
while it is called to-day; lest any of you be hardened through 
the deceitfulness of sin. 14. For we are made partakers of 
Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast 
unto the end. 

4: 1. Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of 
entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short 
of it. 11. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest 
any man fall after the same example of unbelief. 

2 Pet. 1: 10: Wherefore the rather, brethren, give dili- 
gence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do 
these things, ye shall never fall. 

Rev. 2: 10. Fear none of those things which thou shalt 
suffer. Behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, 
that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. 
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of 
life. 11. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit 
saith unto the churches; He that overcometh, shall not be 
hurt of the second death. 17. He that hath an ear, let him 
hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that 
overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will 
give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, 
which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it. 26. And 
he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to 
him will I give power over the nations; 27. (And he shall 
rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter 
shall they be broken to shivers;) even as I received of my 
Father. 

21: 7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I 
will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

Observe: I am not here calling in question the fact that all 
true saints do persevere in faith and obedience to the end; 
but am showing that such perseverance is a condition of 
salvation or of ultimate justification. The subject of the per- 
severance of the saints will come under consideration in its 
proper place. 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 



159 



7. The view of justification which I am opposing is con- 
tradicted by the consciousness of the saints. I think I may 
safely affirm that the saints in all time, are very conscious of 
condemnation when they fall into sin. This sense of con- 
demnation may not subject them to the same kind and degree 
of fear which they experienced before regeneration, because 
of the confidence they have that God will pardon their sin. 
Nevertheless, their remorse, shame, and consciousness of con- 
demnation, do in fact, if I am not much deceived, greatly ex- 
ceed, as a general thing, the remorse, shame, and sense of con- 
demnation, experienced by the impenitent. But if it be true 
that the first act of faith brings the soul into a state of per- 
petual justification so that it can not fall into condemnation 
thereafter, do what it will, the experience of the saints con- 
tradicts facts, or, more strictly, their consciousness of condem- 
nation is a delusion. They are not in fact condemned by 
the moral law as the} r conceive themselves to be. 

8. Christ has taught the saints to pray for forgiveness, 
which implies that when they sin they are condemned. There 
can be no pardon except there be condemnation. Pardon, 
as has been said, consists in setting aside the execution of 
the penalty of law upon the sinner. If therefore the law 
and the lawgiver do not condemn him, it is absurd to pray for 
pardon. The fact, therefore, that inspired saints prayed re- 
peatedly for the pardon of sin committed subsequent to their 
regeneration; that Christ taught his disciples to pray for for- 
giveness; that it is natural to saints as their breath to pray 
for pardon when they have sinned; also that the bible ex- 
pressly asserts that if a righteous man forsake his righteous- 
ness and sin, his righteousness shall not be remembered 
but he shall be condemned for sin; and also that the hu- 
man intelligence affirms that this must be so; these facts 
render it plain that perseverance in faith and obedience must 
be a condition of final justification and of eternal life. 

9. If I understand the framers of the Presbyterian Con- 
fession of Faith, they regarded justification as a state result- 
ing from the relation of an adopted child of God, which state 
is entered into by faith alone, and held that justification is 
not conditionated upon obedience for the time being, but that 
a person in this state may, (as they hold that all in this life in 
fact do,) sin daily, and even continually, yet without condemna- 
tion by the law, their sin bringing them only under his fatherly 
displeasure and subjecting them to the necessity of repen- 
tance as a condition of his fatherly favor, but not as a condi- 



160 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

tion of pardon or of ultimate salvation. They seem to have 
regarded the child of God as no longer under moral govern- 
ment in such a sense that sin was imputed to him, this having 
heen imputed to Christ and Christ's righteousness so literal- 
ly imputed to him that, do what he may after the first act of 
faith, he is accounted and treated in his person as wholly 
righteous. If this is not antinomianism, I know not what is; 
since they hold that all who once believe will certainly 
be saved, yet that their perseverance in holy obedience to the 
end is in no case a condition of final justification, but that 
this is conditionated upon the first act of faith alone. They 
support their positions with quotations from Scripture about 
as much in point as is common for them. When I read that 
Confession of Faith I am ashamed, not to say indignant at the 
loose and often ridiculous manner in which its framers and 
abettors quote scripture in support of some of its nonsensi- 
cal positions. They often rely on proof-texts that in their 
meaning and spirit have not the remotest allusion to the point 
in support of which they are quoted. I have tried to under- 
stand the subject of justification as it is taught in the Bible 
without going into labored speculations or to theological tech- 
nicalities. If 1 have succeeded in understanding it, the fol- 
lowing is a succinct and a true account of the matter. Upon 
condition of the mediatorial death and work of Christ, the 
penitent and believing soul is freely pardoned and received 
to favor as if he had not sinned, while he remains penitent 
and believing, subject however to condemnation and eternal 
death unless he holds fast the beginning of his confidence to 
the end of life. The doctrine of a literal imputation of Ad- 
am's sin to all his posterity, of the literal imputation of all 
the sins of the elect to Christ, and of his suffering for them 
the exact amount due to the transgressors, of the literal im- 
putation of Christ's righteousness or obedience to the elect, 
and the consequent perpetual justification of all that are con- 
verted from the first exercise of faith, whatever their subse- 
quent life may be — I say that these dogmas are fabulous, and 
better befitting a romance than a system of theology. 

But it is said that the bible speaks of the righteousness of 
faith. l What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which 
followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteous- 
ness, even the righteousness which is of faith.' — Rom. 9: 30. 
6 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, 
which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of 
Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith. — Phil. 3:9. 






OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 161 

These, and similar passages, are relied upon as teach- 
ing the doctrine of an imputed righteousness; and such as 
these: '■The Lord our righteousness;' L Surely, shall one say, 
in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.' By the Lord 
our righteousness we may understand either that we are jus- 
tified, that is, that our sins are atoned for, and that we are 
pardoned and accepted by or on account of the Lord, that is, 
Jesus Christ; or we may understand that the Lord makes us 
righteous, that is, that he is our sanctification, working in us 
to will and to do of his good pleasure; or both, that is, he 
atones for our sins, brings us to repentance and faith, works 
sanctification or righteousness in us, and then pardons our 
past sins and accepts us. By the righteousness of faith, or 
of God by faith, I understand the method of making sinners 
holy, and of securing their justification or acceptance by 
faith as opposed to mere works of law or self-righteousness. 
Dikaiosune, rendered righteousness; may be with equal propri- 
ety and often is rendered justification. So undoubtedly it 
should be rendered in 1 Cor. 1: 30. 4 But of him are ye in 
Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and right- 
eousness, and sanctification and redemption.' The meaning 
here doubtless is that he is the author and finisher of that 
scheme of redemption whereby we are justified by faith as 
opposed to justification by our own works. Christ our right- 
eousness is Christ the author or procurer of our justifi- 
cation. But this does not imply that he procures our justifi- 
cation by imputing his obedience to us. The doctrine of a 
literal imputation of Christ's obedience or righteousness is 
supported by those who hold it, by such passages as the fol- 
lowing: Rom. 4: 5 — 8. '- But to him that worketh not, but 
believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is coun- 
ted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the 
blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputed righteous- 
ness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniqui- 
ties are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the 
man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." But here jus- 
tification is represented only as consisting in forgiveness of 
sin or in pardon and acceptance. Again. 2 Cor. 5: 19, 21. 
" To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto 
himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath 
committed unto us the word of reconciliation. For he hath 
made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might 
be made the righteousness of God in him." Here again the 
apostle is teaching only his much-loved doctrine of justifica- 
14* 



16*2 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

tion by faith in the sense that for the sake of the death and 
mediatorial interference and work of Christ penitent believ- 
ers in Christ are forgiven and treated as if they were right- 
eous. 

IV. Foundation of the justification of penitent be- 
lievers in Christ. That is, what is the ultimate ground or 
reason of their justification. 

1. It is not founded in Christ's literally suffering the exact 
penalty of the law for them, and in this sense literally pur- 
chasing their justification and eternal salvation. The Pres- 
byterian Confession of Faith affirms as follows: Chapter on 
Justification, Section 3 — ' Christ by his obedience and death 
did fully discharge the debt of all those that are thus justi- 
fied and did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to his 
Fathers justice in their behalf. Yet, inasmuch as he was 
given by the Father for them, and his obedience and satisfac- 
tion accepted in their stead, and both freely, not for any 
thing in them, their justification is only of free grace, that 
both the exact justice and rich grace of God might be glori- 
fied in the justification of sinners." What is to be under- 
stood here by exact justice and by a real, full satisfaction to 
his Father's justice? I suppose all orthodox christians to hold 
that every sinner and every sin, strictly on the score of jus- 
tice, deserves eternal death or endless suffering. Did the 
framers of this confession hold that Christ bore the literal 
penalty of the law for all the saints? or did they hold that by 
virtue of his nature and relations, his suffering, though in- 
definitely less in amount than was deserved by the transgres- 
sors, was a full equivalent to public justice, or governmentally 
considered, for the execution of the literal penalty upon the 
transgressors? If they meant this latter, 1 see no objection 
to it. But if they meant the former, namely, that Christ suf- 
fered in his own person the full amount strictly due to all the 
elect, I say, 

(1.) That it was naturally impossible. 

(2.) That his nature and relation to the government of 
God was such as to render it wholly unnecessary to the safe 
forgiveness of sin, that he should suffer precisely the same 
amount deserved by sinners. 

(3.) That if, as their substitute, Christ suffered for them 
the full amount deserved by them, then justice has no claim 
upon them, since their debt is fully paid by the surety, and 
of course the principal is, in justice, discharged. 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 163 

(4.) If he satisfied justice for them in the sense of literal- 
ly and exactly obeying for them, why should his suffering be im- 
puted to them as a condition of their salvation? Surely they 
could not need both the imputation of his perfect obedience 
to them so as to be accounted in law as perfectly righteous, 
and also the imputation of his sufferings to them, as if he 
had not obeyed for them. Is God unrighteous? Does he 
exact of the surety first, the literal and full payment of the 
debt, and secondly, perfect personal obedience for and in be- 
half of the sinner? Does he first exact full and perfect obe- 
dience and then the same amount of suffering as if there h^d 
been no obedience? And this, too, of his beloved Son? 

2. Our own works or obedience to the law or to the gos- 
pel, are not the ground or foundation of our justification. 
That is, neither our faith, nor repentance, nor love, nor life, 
nor any thing done by us or wrought in us, is the ground of 
our justification. These are conditions of our justification, 
but not the ground of it. We are justified upon condition 
of our faith, but not for our faith; upon condition of our re- 
pentance, love, obedience, perseverance to the end, but not 
for these things. These are the conditions, but not the rea- 
son, ground, or procuring cause of our justification. We 
can not be justified without them, neither are we or can we 
be justified by them. None of these things must be omitted 
on pain of eternal damnation. Nor must they be put in the 
place of Christ upon the same penalty. Faith is so much 
insisted on in the gospel as the sine qua non of our justifica- 
tion that some seem disposed or at least to be in danger of 
making faith the procuring cause, or of substituting faith in 
the place of Christ; of making faith instead of Christ the 
Saviour. 

3. Neither is the atonement of Christ the foundation of 
our justification. This too is a condition and means of our 
justification, but not the foundation of it. 

4. Nor is any thing in the mediatorial work of Christ the 
foundation of our justification. The work and death and 
resurrection and advocacy of Christ are indispensable condi- 
tions, but not the fundamental reason of our justification. 

5. Nor is the work of the Holy Spirit in converting and 
sanctifying the soul the foundation of our justification. This 
is only a condition or means of bringing it about, but is not 
the fundamental reason. 

6. But the disinterested and infinite love of God, the 
Father, Son and Holjp Spirit, is the true and only foundation 



164 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

of the justification and salvation of sinners. God is love, 
that is, He is infinitely benevolent. All he does, or says, or 
suffers, permits or omits, is for one and the same ultimate 
reason, namely, to promote the highest good of universal 
being. 

7. Christ, the Second Person in the glorious Trinity is 
represented, in Scripture, as taking so prominent a part in 
this work that the number of offices and relations which He 
sustains to God and man in it are truly wonderful. For ex- 
ample, He is represented as being: 1. King. 2. Judge. 3. 
Mediator. 4. Advocate. 5. Redeemer. 6. Surety. 7. 
Wisdom. 8. Righteousness. 9. Sanctification. 10. Re- 
demption. 11. Prophet. 12. Priest. 13. Passover or 
Lamb of God. 14. The bread and water of life. 15. True 
God and eternal life. 16. Our life. 17. Our all in all. 18. 
As the repairer of the breach. 19. As dying for our sins. 
20. As rising for our justification. 21. As the resurrection 
and the life. 22. As bearing our griefs and carrying our 
sorrows. 23. As he by whose stripes we are healed. 24. 
As the head of his people. 25. As the bridegroom or hus- 
band of his church. 26. As the shepherd of his flock. 27. 
As the door by which they enter. 28. As the way to salva- 
tion. 29. As our salvation. 30. As the truth. 31. As be- 
ing made sin for us. 32. That we are made the righteous- 
ness of God in him. 33. That in him dwells all the fulness 
of the Godhead. 34. That in him all fulness dwells. 35. 
All power in heaven and earth are said to be given to him. 
36. He is said to be the true light that lighteth every man 
that cometh into the world. 37. Christ in us the hope of 
Glory. 38. The true vine of which we are the branches. 
39. Our brother. 40. Wonderful. 41. Counsellor. 42. 
The mighty God. 43. The everlasting Father. 44. The 
Prince of peace. 45. The captain of salvation. 46. The 
captain of the Lord's host. 

These are among the official relations of Christ to his 
people and to the great work of our justification. I shall 
have frequent occasion to consider Him in some of these re- 
lations as we proceed in this course of study. Indeed, the 
office, relations, and work of Christ, are among the most im- 
portant topics of Christian theology. 

Christ is our Justification in the sense that He carries into 
execution the whole scheme of redemption devised by the 
adorable Godhead. To Him the Scripture every where di- 
rects the eyes of our faith and of our intelligence also. The 



OFFICES AND RELATIONS OF CHRIST. 165 

Holy Spirit is represented not as glorifying himself, but as 
speaking of Jesus, as taking of the things of Christ and 
showing them to his people, as glorifying Christ Jesus, as be- 
ing sent by Christ, as being the Spirit of Christ, as being 
Christ himself dwelling in the hearts of his people. But I 
must forbear at present. This subject of Christ's relations 
needs elucidation in future lectures. 

REMARK. 

The relations of the Old School view of justification to 
their view of depravity is obvious. They hold, as we have 
seen, that the constitution in every faculty and part is sinful. 
Of course, personal, present holiness, in the sense of entire 
conformity to the law, can not with them be a condition of 
justification. They must have a justification while yet at 
least in some degree of sin. This must be brought about by im- 
puted righteousness. The intelligence revolts at a justifica- 
tion in sin. So a scheme is devised to divert the eye of the 
law and of the lawgiver from the sinner to his substitute who 
has perfectly obeyed the law. But in order to make out the 
possibility of his obedience being imputed to them, it must 
be assumed that He owed no obedience for himself; than 
which a greater absurdity can not be conceived. Constitu- 
tional depravity or sinfulness being once assumed, physical 
regeneration, physical sanctification, physical Divine influ- 
ence, imputed righteousness, and justification while personally 
in the commission of sin, follow of course. Shame on a the- 
ology that is incumbered with such absurdities. 



LECTURE LIV. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

In discussing this subject I will, 

I. Give some account of the recent discussions that 

HAVE BEEN HAD UPON THIS QUESTION. 

II. Remind you of some points that have been set- 
tled IN THIS COURSE OF STUDY. 

III. Define the principal terms to be used in this 

DISCUSSION. 

IV. Show what the real question now at issue is. 

V. That entire sanctification is attainable in this 

LIFE. 

VI. Point out the conditions of this attainment. 

VII. Answer objections. 

VIII. Conclude with remarks. 

I. I AM TO GIVE SOME ACCOUNT OF THE RECENT DISCUS- 
SIONS THAT HAVE BEEN HAD UPON THE SUBJECT OF ENTIRE 
SANCTIFICATION IN THIS LIFE. 

When lecturing and writing on polemic theology, it is im- 
portant and even indispensable that we should entertain just 
ideas of the views and arguments of our opponents. In en- 
tering upon the discussion of the question before us, it seems 
impossible to proceed in the discussion without noticing the 
recent discussions that have been had, and without giving 
you the substance of the principal things that have been said 
of late in opposition to our views. This will prepare the 
way for a fuller and more intelligent examination of the ques- 
tion under consideration than could be otherwise had. I 
shall, therefore, make no apology for introducing in this place 
a brief history of the discussions alluded to, although they 
have so recently appeared in print. 

About the year 1832 or 1833, the sect called Antinomian 
Perfectionists sprung up at about the same time, in several 
places in New York and New England. We have in their 
leading organ, The Perfectionist, published at New Haven. 
Ct., their articles of belief or their confession of faith, as it 



SANCTIFICATION. 167 

professes to have been, carefully prepared and published by 
request. It is as follows: 



" 1. We believe, that God is the only rightful interpreter of 
the Bible, and teacher of theological truth — hence, 

2. We believe, that no doctrine can become an article of 
true faith, which is not recognized by the believer as an im- 
mediate revelation to him from God — yet, 

3. We believe that God, ' who worketh all in o//,' can and 
does teach his own truth, through his written word, and 
through the testimony of his sons — therefore, 

4. We believe it is proper, that we should state, as witnes- 
ses for God, the fundamental articles of our own faith. 

I 5. We believe, ; there is none good but one, that is God,' 
that all the righteousness in the universe is God's righteous- 
ness. 

6. We believe, that God's righteousness may be revealed 
in his creatures, as a man's spirit is revealed in the motions of 
his body. 

7. We believe, that ' the works of the flesh, [that is, human 
nature] are adultery, uncleanness, envyings, strife, and such 
like' only. 

8. We believe, that all attempts to produce better results 
from human nature, by instruction and legal discipline, only 
increase the evil — inasmuch as they refine and disguise with- 
out removing it. 

9. We believe, that the Son of God was manifested in hu- 
man nature for the purpose of destroying, (not reforming,) 
the works of the flesh, and revealing the righteousness of 
God. 

10. We believe, that the righteousness of God was never 
revealed in human nature, till the birth of Jesus Christ. 

11. We believe, that the object of all God's dealings with 
the human race, before the birth of Christ, was, not to pro- 
mote the righteousness of the flesh, that is, self-righteousness, 
that is, the perfection of sin; but to prepare the way for the 
manifestation of his own righteousness through Jesus Christ 
— hence, 

12. We believe, that the righteousness of the saints, under 
the law before Christ, was only 4 a shadow of good things to 
come, and not the very image of the things,' bearing a rela- 
tion to the true righteousness of God, like that of a type to 
its anti-type. 



168 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



13. We believe, that the servants of God under the law, 
by submission to the discipline of the dispensation in which 
they lived, were prepared for, and became heirs of the right- 
eousness of God, afterward revealed by Jesus Christ. 

14. We believe, that, fc God was in Christ reconciling the 
world unto himself,' — that the union of human and divine na- 
ture in him, made the righteousness of God accessible to all 
men. 

15. We believe, that Christ is properly called the second 
Adam, and as the human race in spirit is one body, that he 
became, by his incarnation, • the light that lighteth every 
man.' 

16. We believe, that all who are apprized by the gospel of 
the fact, that the Son of God has come, are thereby called to 
choose whether they will hold the fallen or the risen Adam 
as their head. 

17. We believe, that faith alone receives, and unbelief 
rejects the blessings given to man by the second Adam — by 
faith men awake to a perception of the truth as it is in Christ 
— unbelief is the devil's dream. 

18. We believe, that Christ, as he is in his resurrection and 
glory, is given to every member of the human race. 

19. We believe, that all the faith, righteousness, liberty 
and glory of the risen Son of God, are given to every man. 

20. We believe, that Christ in his incarnation was ' made 
under the law,' and that the Christian dispensation did not 
commence, in any sense, till he ascended up on high. 

21. We believe, that none are Christians, in any sense, 
till they receive Christ in his resurrection — hence, 

22. We believe, that the disciples of Christ, during his 
personal ministry in the flesh, were not Christians. 

23. We believe, that Christ in the resurrection is free from 
sin, from the law, from all ordinances, and from death, hence 
all who are subject to any of these, are not properly called 
Christians, as not having attained the hope of their calling. 

24. We believe, that the history which the Bible contains 
of the church after Christ's ascension, commonly called the 
primitive church, is a history rather of the latter-day glory of 
Judaism, than of the commencement of Christianity. 

25. We believe, that the apostles and primitive believers, 
so far as they were subject to sin, law and death, were Jews 
and not Christians. 

26. We believe, that Christ plainly and repeatedly prom- 
ised to his disciples, that he would come to them a second 






SANCTIFICATION. 



169 



time, and complete their salvation within the life-time of some 
of his immediate followers. 

27. We believe that the primitive church, living in the 
transition period from the first to the second coming of 
Christ, were more or less partakers of the resurrection, holi- 
ness, liberty, and glory of Christ according to their faith. 

28. We believe, that at the destruction of Jerusalem, the 
end of the Jewish dispensation, Christ came to believers the 
second time according to his promise. 

29. We believe, that, at the period of the second coming of 
Christ, Christianity, or the kingdom of heaven properly began. 

30. We believe, that this was the period of the full devel- 
opment of the New Covenant, (Heb.viii,) which secures to 
believers perfect and eternal salvation from sin, full freedom 
from written law and human instruction. 

31. We believe, that the whole body of Christ, that is the 
church, attained the perfect resurrection of the spiritual bo- 
dy at his second coming. 

32. We believe, that Antichrist, at the same period, at- 
tained the perfect resurrection of damnation. 

33. We believe, that this was the period of the commence- 
ment of the judgment, (crisis, see the Greek,) of this world. 

34. We believe, that after this period, the salvation given 
to all men in Jesus Christ, included nothing less than a per- 
fect and eternal salvation from sin, a perfect redemption from 
the law and legal instruction — a perfect resurrection of the 
spiritual body, and a standing on the plain of eternity be- 
yond the judgment.' 

In the winter of 1836 — 7, I preached a course of lectures 
to Christians in the church of which I was then pastor in the 
city of New York, which were reported by the editor of the 
New York Evangelist and published in his paper. Soon af- 
ter they were published in that form, they were published in 
a volume, and went into extensive circulation both in Europe 
and America. Among these lectures were two on the sub- 
ject of christian perfection or entire sanctification, from Mat- 
thew 5: 48 — l Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father 
which is in heaven is perfect.' 

In the first of these lectures I endeavored to show, 

I. What perfection the text does not and what it does 
require. 

II. That this perfection is a duty. 

III. That this perfection is attainable in this life. 

IV. I proceeded to answer objections. 



170 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

I regarded the perfection demanded by the text as consist- 
ing in entire obedience of heart and life to the law of God. 
And so I taught. I then proceeded to show that this state of 
obedience is attainable in this life. The remainder of this 
and the following lecture were occupied in answering objec- 
tions to the doctrine of the first discourse. These lectures 
were soon spread before thousands of readers. Whatever 
was thought of them, I heard not a word of objection to the 
doctrine from any quarter. If any was made, it did not, to 
my recollection, come to my knowledge. 

In the year 1840, President Mahan published a small work 
on the subject of christian perfection. Several pieces had 
previously been published by him and myself in the Oberlin 
Evangelist upon the same subject. Prof. Cowles about the 
same time published a series of articles in the Oberlin Evan- 
gelist upon the subject of the holiness of christians in this 
life which were soon after their first appearance collected 
and published in a small volume. Nearly at the same time I 
published a course of lectures in the same paper, which were 
soon also put into a volume by themselves. All three of us 
gave a definition of christian perfection or entire sanctifica- 
tion, amounting in substance to the same thing, making it to 
consist in entire consecration to God, and entire obedience to 
the law, and supported the attainability of this state in this 
life by substantially the same course of argument. We 
agreed in stating the attainability of this state as the thing 
which we proposed to prove, and to the proof of which we 
shaped our whole course of argument. The attainability of 
this state we attempted to establish by many arguments, 
among which are the following: 

1. We argued the possibility of attaining this state from 
the fact that God expressly commands it. 

2. From the fact that man by virtue of his moral agency 
is naturally able fully to obey God. 

3. From the fact that provisions are made in the gospel for 
the entire sanctification of believers in this life. 

4. From the fact that we are commanded to pray in faith 
for the entire sanctification of believers in this life. 

5. From the fact that Christ and the apostles prayed for 
this. 

6. From the fact that the entire sanctification of believers 
in this life is expressly promised in Scripture. 

Pres. Mahan and myself, especially, urged the attainability 
of this state, not only from the foregoing and many other 






SANCTIFICATION. 



171 



considerations, but also from the fact that this state has been 
attained, and instanced Paul the apostle as an example of 
this attainment. 

Immediately upon the publication of the above named 
works, the public journals opened a battery upon us, strange- 
ly, and 1 must say, unaccountably confounding our views 
with those of the antinomian perfectionists. What analogy 
was discernible between our views as set forth in our writings 
and those of the antinomian perfectionists as expressed in 
their own formula of doctrine, as above given, I am utterly at 
a loss to understand. But it was insisted that we were of 
that school and denomination, notwithstanding the greatest 
pains-taking on our part to make the public acquainted with 
our views. Many honest ministers and laymen in this coun- 
try and in Europe were doubtless misled by the course pur- 
sued by the public press. Some of the leading religious 
journals refused to publish our articles, and kept their readers 
in ignorance of our real views. They gave to the public, of- 
tentimes, the grossest misrepresentations of our views, and 
refused to allow our replies a place in their columns. The 
result for sometime was a good deal of misapprehension and 
alarm on the part of many of the friends of Zion who had 
been among our warmest friends. Soon after the publication 
of Pres. Mahan'a work above alluded to, it was reviewed by 
Dr. Leonard Woods, of Andover Theological Seminary. Dr. 
Woods committed in his review four capital errors which laid 
his review open to a blow of annihilation, which was in due 
time leveled against it by Pres. Mahan. The President had 
defined what he intended by christian perfection or entire 
sanctification, and had also stated what he did not under- 
stand it as implying. He defined it to consist in a state of 
entire conformity of heart and life to the law of God, or in 
consecration of the whole being to God. He very expressly 
took issue upon the question of the attainability of this state 
in this life, and was at special pains to guard against the true 
point at issue being mistaken, and protested against any one's 
making a false issue. Dr. Woods noticed this and his first 
error consisted in assuming that the real point at issue be- 
tween him and Pres. Mahan was just what he (Dr. Woods) 
chose to make it. Hence, secondly, Dr. Woods proceeded 
to take issue with the author he was reviewing, not upon the 
possibility of attaining the state in question in this life, which 
was the proposition stated and defended by his author, but 
upon the fact of this state having been attained in this life. 



172 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



This was the Doctor's second error. His third error consist- 
ed in the fact that having made a false issue, he replied to 
the arguments of his opponent as if they had been designed 
by him to establish, not the attainability, but the actual attain- 
ment of this state in this life. 

He certainly had a right to controvert if he chose the fact 
of actual attainment, or to deny any other argument Pies. 
Mahan used to prove the attainability of this state. But he 
had no right, and it was utterly absurd and unjust, to make a 
false issue, to take issue upon the fact of attainment and rep- 
resent the President's argument as adduced to sustain that 
position, when in fact it was framed in support of a totally 
different position; and this Dr. Woods knew full well. 

But the Doctor fell into a fourth error as fatal to his object 
as either of the preceding. He did not at all define his 
views of what constitutes christian perfection or entire sanc- 
tification, nor did he notice his opponent's definition. We 
are therefore left to the necessity of inferring what he under- 
stands by entire sanctification or christian perfection from his 
course of argument. 

From this we learn that he founded his argument against 
the fact of attainment, which was the point that he aimed to 
overthrow, upon a grossly false assumption in respect to the 
nature of christian perfection. The following are specimens 
of his course <of reasoning: He denied that any Christian had 
ever attained to a state of entire sanctification in this life, be- 
cause the Bible requires Christians in all their earthly course 
to grow in grace. Now it will be seen at once that this ar- 
gument is good for nothing, unless it be assumed as a major 
premise that christian perfection or entire sanctification im- 
plies the impossibility of further progress in holiness. The 
argument in syllogistic form would stand thus: 

4 Christian perfection or entire sanctification implies the 
impossibility of further progress in holiness. The bible re- 
quires all christians in all time to progress in holiness, which 
implies the possibility of their doing so. Therefore no chris- 
tian is in this life entirely sanctified.' 

The assumption of a grossly false major premise alone 
gives his argument the color of relevancy or plausibilty. 
But suppose any one should pursue the same course of argu- 
ment in respect to total depravity and insist that no sinner 
is ever totally depraved in this life because the bible repre- 
sents wicked men and seducers as waxing w-orse and worse; 
would Dr. Woods or those who agree with him acknowledge 



SANCTIFICATION. 173 

the conclusiveness of such an argument? But if total de- 
pravity does not imply, as every one knows that it does not, 
the impossibility of further progress in sin, so neither for the 
same reason does entire or total sanctification imply the im- 
possibility of further progress in holiness. 

But President Mahan had expressly excluded from his de- 
finition of christian perfection the idea of its implying a state 
in which no higher attainments in holiness were possible. 
He had insisted that the saints may not only always in this 
life grow in holiness, but that they must forever grow in grace 
or holiness as they grow in knowledge. How strange, then, 
that Dr. Woods should not only make a false issue, but also 
proceed to sustain his position by assuming as true what his 
author had expressly denied! There was not even the shad- 
ow of disagreement between him and his opponent, assuming 
as he did, that christian perfection implied the impossibility 
of further progress in holiness. President Mahan as much 
abhorred the idea of the actual or possible attainment of such 
a state in this or any other life, as the Doctor did himself. 
The Doctor had no right to represent him as holding to 
Christian Perfection in any such sense as that he was contro- 
verting. In the face of President Mahan's disavowal of such a 
sentiment, the Doctor shaped his argument to overthrow a 
position which the President never maintained. Having 
created his own issue, and supported it by his own assump- 
tion, he was pronounced by multitudes to have gained a com- 
plete victory. 

Again, Dr. Woods denied that christian perfection ever 
was or ever will be attained in this life, because the Bible 
represents christians in all time as engaged in the christian 
warfare. Here again we get at the Doctors view of chris- 
tian perfection, to wit, that it implies the cessation of the 
christian warfare. But what is the christian warfare? 

The Doctor plainly assumes that it consists in warring 
with present sin. Yet he holds all sin to be voluntary. His 
assumption then that the christian warfare consists in a war- 
fare with present sin, represents the will as opposing its pre- 
sent choice. Choice warring with choice. But the christian 
warfare implies no such v thing. It is a warfare or contest 
with temptation. No other warfare is possible in the nature 
of the case. Christ was a subject of it. He was tempted 
in all points as we are, yet without sin. While our circum- 
stances remain what they will always be in this world, we 
shall be subject to temptation, of course, from the world, the 
15* 



174 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

flesh, and Satan. But christian perfection is not at all im- 
compatible with the existence of this strife with temptation. 
This argument of the Doctor was based wholly like the pre- 
ceding upon the begging or assumption of a totally false ma- 
jor premise. He made an issue between himself and Pres. 
Mahan, when there was none. The President no more held 
than he did that such a state ever was or will be attained in 
this life as implies the cessation of the christian warfare, pro- 
perly so called. Thus Dr. Woods set out without giving his 
readers any definition of christian perfection, and stumbled 
and blundered through his whole argument, totally misrep- 
resenting the argument of the author whom he reviewed, 
and sustaining several of his own positions by sheer assump- 
tions. 

The applause with which this review was received by the 
great mass of ministers and by many laymen, shows the deep 
darkness in which this whole question was and had been for 
a long time enveloped. We shall see in its proper place, 
that the erroneous view of nearly the whole church upon this 
subject was the legitimate result of a totally false philosophy 
of moral depravity. The review of Dr. Woods was looked 
upon very extensively as a complete using up of President Ma- 
han's book. It was soon published, by request, in a separate 
volume. But the President's answer appeared in due time, 
and so far as I know, was universally regarded by those who 
candidly read it, as a complete refutation of Dr. Wood's re- 
view. 

The Doctor admitted in his review that entire sanctification 
was attainable in this life both on the ground of natural abil- 
ity, and also because the gospel has made sufficient provision 
for this attainment. But with his assumed definition of en- 
tire sanctification, he should not have admitted the possibility 
of such attainment. For surely it is not possible on the 
ground of natural ability to attain such a state either in this 
life or in any other, that no farther advances can be made. 
Nor has the gospel made provision to render such attainment 
possible in this life. Nor is it possible, either on the ground 
of natural ability or through the provisions of grace, to attain 
a state in this life in which the warfare with temptation will 
cease. It is difficult to conceive how Dr. Woods with his 
ideal of entire sanctification could admit the possibility of 
attaining this state in this life. Certainly there was no con- 
sistency in making both the assumption and the admission. 
If he assumed the one he should have denied the other. 



SANCTIFICATION. 175 

That is, if in his view entire sanctification implied a state in 
which there could be no farther advances in holiness, or in 
which there could be no farther war with temptation, he 
should have denied the possibility of the attainment in this 
life at least. 

Nearly at the same time with the review of Dr. Woods, 
just named, the presbytery of Troy, New York, by a com- 
mittee appointed for that purpose, issued a review of our 
views, and, as I suppose, intended especially as a reply to my 
work already alluded to. 

The letter or review of the presbytery was published in 
the New York Evangelist, and I believe in most of the lead- 
ing public journals of the day. I replied, but my reply was 
not admitted into the columns of the journals that published 
the review. This fact seems to demand that both the letter 
of the presbytery and my reply should have a place in this 
account of the discussion. I therefore here give them to you 
entire. 



Action of the Troy Presbytery. 

STATEMENT OF DOCTRINE. 

•In the progress of human investigation, it not unfrequent- 
ly happens, that truth and error are so connected, that the 
work of distinction becomes as indispensable as that of refu- 
tation. In this form, error is always the most dangerous, not 
only because it is the least likely to be perceived, but be- 
cause from its relation, it is liable to share in that confidence 
which the mind is accustomed to assign to admitted truth. 
In this form, also, it is often, relatively to our perceptions, the 
same as truth; but the moment this unnatural union of re- 
pellent elements is sundered, both assume their distinctive 
and peculiar marks. 

These prefatory thoughts find an ample illustration in the 
present slate of opinion, in some sections of the church, rel- 
ative to the doctrine of '■Christian Perfection.' That all the 
sentiments of this system are false, it would be difficult to 
show; and as difficult to show their entire truth. The sys- 
tem is a subtle combination of truth and error. Any partial 
prevalence that it may have had, is easily explained on this 
principle. Where the truth is made most prominent, the 
whole assumes an imposing aspect; but an inversion of this 



176 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

error will as signally mark its defects. The work, therefore, 
of exposing the one, without injury to the other, becomes a 
duty with every devout and honest inquirer. This is what 
your commitee purpose to undertake; and for this purpose it 
will be sufficient to answer the two following questions: 

1. What is the controverted point in this system? 

2. What is truth in relation to that point? 

Let us take up these questions in the above order. 

I. In the first place, What is the controverted point — 
what is the real issue? 

That there is some issue, admits of no doubt. What is it? 
It is not, whether by the requirement of the moral law, or 
the injunction of the gospel, men are commanded to be per- 
fectly holy; not whether men are under obligations to be 
thus holy; not whether, as moral agents, such a state is to 
them a possible state; not whether the gospel system is com- 
petent to secure actual perfection in holiness, if its entire re- 
sources be applied; not whether it is the duty and privilege 
of the church, to rise much higher in holy living, than it has 
ever yet done in our world. To join issue on any or all of 
these points, is to make a false issue; it is to have the ap- 
pearance of a question without its reality. Some or ail of 
these points, form a part of the scheme of 'Christian Perfec- 
tion;' but certainly they do not invest it with any peculiar 
character, for they involve no new sentiment differing from 
the ground taken by the great body of orthodox Christians 
in every age. It cannot be supposed that their advocacy has 
led to the various and fearful solicitudes of learned and pious 
men in regard to the truth and tendency of this system. It 
must therefore be fraught with some other element. What 
is that element? The assertion that Christian men do attain 
in some cases during the present life, to a state of perfect 
holiness, excluding sin in every form, and that for an indefi- 
nite period they remain in this state. This position requires 
a moment's analysis, that it may neither suffer nor gain by 
an ambiguous use of terms. 

1. A state of perfect holiness is the general thing affirmed 
under several relations — such holiness, as leaves not a soli- 
tary point of the divine requirements, either in kind or de- 
gree, that is not absolutely and completely met by the sub- 
ject of this predicate — such holiness as involves entire con- 
formity to God's law, and excludes all sin. Any thing short 
of this, is not perfect holiness, even at the time when its pos- 
session is alledged; such a state would be one of imperfect 



SANCTIFICATION. 



177 



or incomplete sanctification. In establishing the reality of 
this assumed attainment, it is not allowable to abate or de- 
crease the purity and rigor of the divine law — this would at 
once change the nature of both categories involved in this 
question, that is, sin and holiness. We must take the law as 
it is, and use it as the infallible standard of measurement. 

2. This affirmation of a fact is made under several rela- 
tions. The first is one of speciality, that is, that some Chris- 
tians have reached this state. It is not contended that it is 
the state of all Christians, and by consequence, that none 
are Christians but those who are perfectly sanctified. The 
second involves two relations of time, that is, that this at- 
tainment has been made in the present life, and that it has 
remained the permanent state for a period more or less indef- 
inite — a day, a week, a month, a year, or years. It is not de- 
nied that it is a state in which defection is possible; hence a 
Christian in this state may relapse into one of imperfect 
sanctification. Such a phenomenon would be apostacy from 
perfect to imperfect holiness, and might be succeeded by a 
return to the former state. These relapses and restorations 
may be of an indefinite number, for they admit of no neces- 
sary limitation but the life of the individuals. They are not 
however to be confounded with that theory of moral actions, 
which regards each as wholly good or wholly bad, for they 
contemplate a longer period of time than is assigned to the 
production of any given moral act. 

Such is the real question at issue — such is the import of 
'■Christian Perfection,' so far as it has any peculiarity. This 
is the question to be decided; to argue any other, is to lose 
sight of the real one — it is to meet an opponent where there 
is no debate, but entire agreement. 

II. In the second place it is proposed to inquire — What 
is truth in relation to this point? 

It is obvious that the burden of proof lies with him who 
affirms the truth of this sentiment. He must moreover direct 
his proof to the very thing affirmed, and not to something 
else. It is easy to carry a question by stating one proposition 
and proving another. If the proposition in debate be estab- 
lished, the discussion is at an end — the doctrine of christian 
perfection must be acknowledged. 

1. It may be well, therefore, in the first place, to insist on 
our logical rights, and inquire — ''has the proposition yet been 
proved?' This question involves a variety of subordinate 
ones, a brief allusion to which is all that can be made. 



178 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

(a.) It has sometimes been urged, that because perfection 
in holiness is attainable in this life, therefore it is actually 
attained. How much validity this argument possesses, we 
shall be able to judge, if we state it in a syllogistic form. It 
would be thus: Whatever is attainable in this life, is actually 
attained in this life; a state of perfect holiness is attainable 
in this life; therefore it is actually attained in this life. It 
must be confessed that this syllogism has the attribute of 
logical conclusiveness, but ere we grant the truth of the in- 
ference, it may be well to decide the truth of the premises. 
Is the first or major premise true? If so, then every sinner 
who hears the gospel, must attain to actual salvation; then 
not some, but all believers must be perfectly sanctified in the 
present life: then every man actually reaches in the present 
life, the highest possible intellectual and moral good of his 
being. It must be palpable to every discriminating mind, 
that this reason takes for granted a false premise; and al- 
though conformable to the rules of logic, it is liable to prove 
an untruth; it confounds the broad distinction between what 
is merely possible and what is actual. 

(b.) Again, it is urged in defence of this system, that the 
gospel contains adequate provisions for the perfect sanctifica- 
tion of believers in this life, and therefore some believers are 
thus sanctified. The logical formula will place this reason- 
ing in its true light. It would stand thus: Whatever is possi- 
ble by the provisions of the gospel in this life, will take 
place in this life; the perfect sanctification of some believers 
in this life is possible by these provisions; therefore it will 
take place in this life. This is a most extraordinary method 
of reasoning. With some slight changes, it will prove what 
even the advocate of Perfection will be slow to admit. In 
the second or minor proposition, substitute the word 'all' for 
'some,' and then it proves that all believers are perfectly 
sanctified in this life. Again, in place of some or all believers, 
insert the words all men, then it proves that all are perfectly 
sanctified in this life, There must therefore be some radical 
difficulty in the first or major proposition. What is that diffi- 
culty? It lies in a limitation which is not expressed, but 
which, the moment it is seen, overturns the whole argument. 
The provisions of the gospel are sufficient for perfect sancti- 
fication at any time and place, if they be fully applied, and 
not otherwise. Their partial or full application contemplates 
the action of a rational and voluntary agent. Hence, while 
competent, they may fail of this effect, owing to the non-ap- 



SANCTIFICATION. 



179 



plication, and not to any fault in the provisions themselves. 
Before, therefore, this argument is entitled to the least weight, 
it must be proved that some believers, or all, fully appropri- 
ate these provisions in the present life. This being done, 
then all is clear. This has never yet been done; but it has 
been lately assumed, as if it were an undisputed truth. The 
main argument of President Mahan on Perfection is embar- 
rassed with this very fallacy. 

(c.) Again, in support of this scheme, much use has been 
made of the commands, promises and prayers recorded in the 
Bible. 

In relation to the commands, it will be sufficient to say 
that although the Bible does command a state of perfect 
holiness in this life, it does not follow that the command is in 
any instance fully obeyed on earth. Before we can arrive 
at this conclusion, we must adopt the following principle; 
that is, that whatever is commanded in the Bible is actually 
performed by the subjects of that command. This would 
exclude the existence of all sin from the world; it would 
prove all men to be holy, without a single exception; it would 
establish the perfect sanctification not of some, but of all 
believers. It is certainly a most formidable engine of dem- 
onstration, too potent for an ordinary hand to wield. 

So also the argument based on the promises of God in- 
volves fallacies of reasoning not less apparent. It is a glori- 
ous truth that God has promised to all believers a final victo- 
ry over sin, which undoubtedly will be accomplished at some 
period of their history. But does it follow then, because 
believers are to be perfectly sanctified at some time and 
somewhere, the present life will be the time and place of 
this perfect sanctification? Let a promise be adduced, if it 
can be, that fixes the period of this event to the present life. 
The divine promises, like the provisions of the gospel, are 
conditioned as to the degree of their results, by appropria- 
tive acts on the part of the believer. Hence the fallacy of 
the argument is apparent, in that it takes for granted that 
some believers in the present life do fully comply with all the 
conditions contemplated in the promises themselves. With- 
out this assumption, it proves nothing. Besides, it is not to 
be forgotten that the promises are general, addressed alike 
to all believers; and hence the rules of reasoning by which 
they are made to prove the perfect sanctification of some 
Christians in the present life, equally prove that of all in 



180 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGV. 

every period of time, past, present and future. The argu- 
ment from promises has no relation to, or limitation by, any 
specific time. But two alternatives seem to be possible; 
either the reasoning must be abandoned as not valid, or we 
must admit that every regenerated man is sinless, and that 
too from the moment of his conversion. 

Similar defects characterize the arguments drawn from the 
prayers which the Bible records, as well as those which it 
authorizes Christians to make. It is true that Christ prayed 
for his disciples in language the most elevated — l Sanctify 
them through thy truth.' The same may be said of the 
great apostle when he prayed — '■And the very God of peace 
sanctify you wholly.' We are directed to pray that God's 
will may be done on earth as in heaven; and in general au- 
thorized to pray for a perfect victory over all sin at every 
time. These are the facts; — now what is the inference? 
The advocate of perfection responds — that some believers are 
perfectly sanctified in the present life. These and kindred 
facts we offer, to prove this conclusion. Is there then be- 
tween the two a certain connection? If we admit the one, 
must we logically admit the other? Facts speak a very dif- 
ferent language. Were those included in the prayer of 
Christ thus sanctified, and that from the moment of its utter- 
ance? Was the same true of all the Christians of Thessa- 
lonica? Has the will of God yet been done on earth as per- 
fectly as in Heaven? Has every believer who has hungered 
and thirsted after righteousness attained to sinless perfection 
in this life? Did not Paul most fervently pray for the salva- 
tion of Israel, and have not thousands of Jews died since, in 
their sins? Did he not pray that the thorn in his flesh might 
be removed? and was it removed? The grand mistake in 
this reasoning is, that it fixes what the nature and terms of 
prayer do not fix; that is, the time when and the place 
where the sought blessing shall be obtained. Applied as 
evidence to any believer who claims to be wholly sanctified, 
it would prove his sanctification an hour, a week, month, or 
year, before he was thus sanctified, as really as at the mo- 
ment in which he professed to have made this high attain- 
ment. Contemplated in its most general form, it would 
prove that every thing which is a proper object of prayer, 
and which will be obtained in some state of being, will actu- 
ally be obtained in the present life. There is a vast abyss 
between the facts and conclusion, which the utmost ingenuity 
is unable to remove. 



SANCTIFICATION. 



181 



(d.) Finally, on this branch of the argument, a variety of 
proof-texts has been summoned to the service of this system. 
A critical examination of all these, is inconsistent with the 
limits of the present statement. It will be sufficient to ad- 
vert to the false principles of interpretation to which they 
have been subjected. These are three in number: 

(1.) The first consists in a misapplication of passages; as 
when Paul says, 1 1 take you to record this day, that I am 
free from the blood of all men' — or when Zacharias and 
Elizabeth are spoken of as '■walking in all the command- 
ments and ordinances blameless.' 

(*2.) The second consists in regarding certain terms as 
proofs of perfection in holiness, which are merely distinctive 
of Christian character, as contrasted with the state of the 
unregenerate. These are such words as * holy, saints, sanc- 
tified, blameless, just, righteous, perfect, entire,' &c. That 
these and kindred terms are designed to he characteristic, 
and not descriptive of the degrees of holiness, is proved by 
the fact that they are indiscriminately appropriated to all 
Christians, and that in many cases they are applied, when 
the context absolutely charges sin upon their subjects. 

(3.) The third false principle consists in interpreting cer- 
tain passages in an absolute and unrestricted sense, where 
evidently they are designed to have a qualified sense. This 
error may perhaps be illustrated by a single passage. Take 
that remarkable saying of the Apostle John: <■ Whosoever 
is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth 
in him; and he cannot sin because he is born of God.' 
Stronger language or a better proof text can not well be con- 
ceived. In an unrestricted sense, it affirms not only that ev- 
ery regenerated man is sinless, but an impossibility that it 
should be otherwise; it dislodges all sin and moral agency 
from a converted mind at a single blow. What will the Ad- 
vocate of Perfection do with this passage? Will he ac- 
knowledge either or both of these consequences? This can 
hardly be supposed. How then will he escape them? There 
is but one way for him — this lies in placing a restricted and 
qualified sense upon the passage, and in a moment all is plain 
and harmonious. But why subject so plain a passage to this 
law of interpretation, and deny it to others less harmonious 
and decisive? No reason can be perceived but the one which 
grows out of the necessities of a favorite theory. Indeed, 
there is logically no stopping place to this system short of 
the bold affirmation that all believers are perfectly sinless 
16 



182 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

from the moment of conversion. Every argument in its 
last analysis must terminate in this extraordinary result. To 
arrest the inference at any other point is to betray a logical 
inconsistency. Are the advocates of Perfection prepared for 
this bold and unbiblical doctrine? If not, it is time they had 
reviewed their arguments, and abandoned principles fraught 
with such a conclusion. Their weapons of defense are not 
less destructive than constructional in their character. 

2. Having tried the merits of the positive testimony of 
this subject, we remark in the second place, that in the pres- 
ent state of the question, the position is absolutely incapable 
of proof. When a man affirms his own sinless perfection for 
any given period, as a day, a week, or a year, he affirms his 
own infallible knowledge on two points; that is, that at the 
present moment he can recall every moral exercise during 
that period, every thought, feeling, desire, purpose, and that 
he does infallibly judge of the moral character of each exer- 
cise. Will any pretend to this knowledge? To do so, mani- 
fests the last degree of presumption, as well as ignorance, 
both of facts and the truths of mental science. Every effort 
to recall the whole of our mental exercises for a single day, 
must always be a failure; it can only be partially successful. 
This shows how little weight is due to the testimony of a 
man who asserts his own perfection; he may be honest, but 
this is no proof of the truth of his statement. If a case of 
1 perfection' were admitted to be real, still it is impossible, in 
the present state of our faculties, to find and predicate cer- 
tain knowledge of it. The evidences of "Christian Perfec- 
tion,' are then not only inconclusive, but its main proposition 
is absolutely unknowable to ns. 

3. In the third place we remark, that this proposition is 
disproven by an amount of evidence that ought to be conclu- 
sive. To secure the greatest brevity of statement, this evi- 
dence may be condensed into the following series of propo- 
sitions: — The Bible records defects in the characters of the 
most eminent saints, whose history it gives; it speaks in mod- 
erate terms of the attainments of the pious, when put in con- 
trast with those of Christ, who hence is an exception to our 
race; it points the believer to the heavenly world as the 
consummation of his hopes, and exemption from all sin and 
sorrow; it describes the work of grace as going forward by- 
successive and progressive stages, and fixes no limit to these 
stages, antecedent to the period of death; it speaks of those 
as being self-deceived who deny their own sinfulness — l If we 



SANCTITICATION. 



183 



say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth 
is not in us;' it represents Christians here as in an imperfect 
state — 4 For in many things we offend all' [the word c alP in 
the original qualifies l we' and not t things; 1 ] it exhorts Chris- 
tians to lowly and humble views of their own attainments; 
it declares Christians in the present life to be under a pro- 
cess of providential discipline, the object of which is to make 
them more fully partakers of God's holiness; the most emi- 
nent saints that have ever lived since the days of the Apos- 
tles, have uniformly expressed a painful consciousness of 
remaining sin, and spoken of their attainments in language 
far different from that of self-confidence; the higher Chris- 
tians have risen in holiness, the more deeply have they been 
humbled with their own sinful imperfections, owing to a 
clearer discernment both of God and themselves. These prop- 
ositions might each of them be amplified into as many argu- 
ments. Taken together, they seem conclusively to set aside 
the pretensions of any class of men who claim for them- 
selves sinless perfection in the present life. We can not but 
think, that however sincere such persons may be, they labor 
under a most dangerous delusion. With them we have no 
controversy; our controversy is with their system. It ap- 
pears to us in no other light than that of a system, totally 
disconnected with its proposed evidence, demonstrably un- 
knowable by the present state of our faculties, and in direct 
contravention to an amount of proof, biblical and experi- 
mental, that must forever discredit its claims. 



RESOLUTIONS. 



1. Resolved; That in the judgment of this Presbytery, the 
doctrine of ' Christian Perfection' in this life, is not only 
false, but calculated in its tendencies, to engender self-right- 
eousness, disorder, deception, censoriousness and fanaticism. 

2. Resolved, That it is contrary to the Confession of Faith 
adopted by the Presbyterian church in the United States. 
See chap. 12, Sec. 2. 

3. Resolved, That it is the duty of all orthodox ministers 
to acquaint themselves with this error, and at such times and 
in such measures as may seem to them most expedient, to in- 
struct the people on this point. 

4. Resolved, That we view with regret and sorrow, the 
ground taken on this subject by the Theological Professors 
at Oberlin. 



184 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

5. Resolved, That we hail with joy every improvement in 
human opinion that conforms to the Bible, and promises, in 
its practical tendency, to decrease the sins or increase the 
moral purity of the church. 

6. Resolved, That the above statement and resolutions be 
signed by the Moderator and Stated Clerk, and published in 
the New York Evangelist, New York Observer, the Chris- 
tian Observer, and the Presbyterian. 

Fayette Shipherd requested that his dissent from the above 
report of the Committee be appended to it, entered on the 
records of the Presbytery, and published with it. All the 
other members present voted in the affirmative. 

Thomas J. Haswell, Moderator, 
N. S. S. Beman, Stated Clerk. 
Troy, June 29, 1841. 



To the Troy [N. Y.] Presbytery. 

Dear Brethren: 

Permit me to make a few remarks upon your re- 
port on the subject of Christian perfection. I have read with 
attention most that has come to hand upon the subject of 
your report, and have thought it of little use to reply, until 
some opponent of our views should throw his objections into 
a more tangible form than any one had hitherto done. Your 
report embraces, in a condensed form, almost all that has been 
said in opposition to our views. For this reason, as well as 
for the reason that I have a high respect and fervent love for 
those of your number with whom I am acquainted, I beg 
leave to be heard in reply. 

What I have said was prepared for, and should have been 
published in the New York Evangelist. I wrote to the edit- 
or, making the request to be heard through his columns; to 
which he made no reply. I still hope he will not fail to do 
me, yourselves, and the church the justice to give this arti- 
cle a place in his columns. The truth demands it. For no 
other reason, I am sure, than to subserve the interests of 
truth would I say one word. Without further preface, I quote 
your statement of the real point at issue. You say: 

1 That there is some issue, admits of no doubt. What is 
it? It is not, whether by the requirements of the moral law, 
or the injunctions of the gospel, men are commanded to be 
perfectly holy; not whether men are under obligations to be 




SANCTIFICATION. 185 

thus holy; not whether as moral agents, such a state is to 
them a possible state; not whether the gospel system is com- 
petent to secure actual perfection in holiness, if its entire re- 
sources be applied; not whether it is the duty and privilege 
of the church to rise much higher in holy living, than it has 
ever yet done in this world. To join issue on any, or all 
of these points, is to make a false issue; it is to have the ap- 
pearance of a question without its reality. Some, or all of 
these points, form a part of the scheme of * Christian Per- 
fection:' but certainly they do not invest it with any peculiar 
character, for they involve no new sentiment differing from 
the ground taken by the great body of orthodox Christians 
in every age. It can not be supposed that their advocacy has 
led to the various and fearful solicitudes of learned and pious 
men in regard to the truth and tendency of this system. It 
must therefore be fraught with some other element. What 
is that element? The assertion that Christian men do attain 
in some cases, during the present life, to a state of perfect 
holiness, excluding sin in every form, and that for an indefi- 
nite period they remain in this state.' 

Upon this I remark: 

I. You have made a false issue. Proof : 

1. What our position is. It is, and always has been, that 
entire sanctifcation is attainable in this life, in such a sense as 
to render its attainment a rational object of pursuit, with the ex- 
pectation of attaining it. 

This proposition, it would seem, you admit; but on account 
of ' the various and fearful solicitudes of learned and pious 
men,' you take it for granted, there must be a heresy some- 
where, and accordingly proceed to take issue with us, upon 
one of the arguments we have used in support of our propo- 
sition; and reply to our other arguments, as if they had been 
adduced by us in support of the proposition, upon which you 
have erroneously made up the issue. 

2. Some of the arguments by which we have attempted to 
establish this proposition are — 

(1.) That men are naturally able to obey all the command- 
ments of God. 

(2.) That this obedience is unqualifiedly demanded of men 
in this life. 

(3.) That the gospel proffers sufficient grace to secure their 
entire sanctification in this life; and that nothing is wanting 
but L appropriative acts,' on the part of Christians, to realize 
this result. 

16* 



186 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

(4.) That the entire sanctification of Christians in this life 
was made the subject of prayer by inspired men, and also that 
Christ taught his disciples to pray for it. 

(5.) That this state has actually been attained. 
These are among our arguments ; and as they are the only ones 
to which you have professed to reply, I will mention no others. 

3. I will put our arguments in the form of syllogisms in 
their order. 

First argument. Whatever is attainable in this life, on the 
ground of natural ability, may be aimed at with a rational 
hope of success. A state of entire sanctification in this life 
is attainable on the ground of natural ability. Therefore, 
it may be aimed at with a rational hope of success. 

Again, whatever men are naturally able to do in this life, 
they may aim at doing with a rational hope of success. Men 
are naturally able to do all their duty, which is to be entire- 
ly sanctified. Therefore, they may aim at entire sanctifica- 
tion with a rational hope of being entirely sanctified. 

You admit both the major and minor premises in these 
syllogisms. Can the conclusion be avoided? 

Second argument. Whatever God commands to be done 
by men in this life, may be done, by them. God commands 
men to be entirely holy in this life. Therefore a state of en- 
tire holiness in this life is possible. You admit both the ma- 
jor and minor premises. Can the conclusion be avoided? 

Third argument. Whatever attainment the gospel proffers 
sufficient grace to secure in this life, may be made. The gos- 
pel proffers sufficient grace, should any one t apply its entire 
resources,' to secure a state of entire sanctitication in this 
life. Therefore, this state may be secured, or this attainment 
may be made. Here again, you admit both premises. Can 
the conclusion be denied? 

Fourth Argument. Whatever was made the subject of 
prayer by the Spirit of inspiration may be granted. The en- 
tire sanctification of the saints in this life was prayed for by 
the Spirit of inspiration. Therefore, Christians may aim at 
and pray for this state, with the rational expectation of being 
entirely sanctified in this life. 

Again. What Christ has made it the universal duty of the 
church to pray for, may be granted. He has made it the 
duty of all Christians to pray for the entire sanctification of 
the saints in this life. Therefore these petitions may be pre- 
sented, and christians may expect to be entirely sanctified in 
this life. Both premises in these syllogisms are admitted. 
Arc not the conclusions inevitable? 



SANCTIFICATIOxN. 



187 



Fifth Argument. Whatever men have done, men can do. 
Men have been entirely sanctified in this life. Therefore 
they may be so sanctified. The minor premise in this syllo- 
gism you deny; and, strange to tell, you affirm, over and over 
again, that this one argument of ours is the main proposition to 
be established! And you reply to all our other arguments in 
support of the main proposition as if they had been adduced 
to prove this! Now it would have been equally fair, and just 
as much in point, so far as our argument in support of the 
main proposition is concerned, if you had made an issue with 
us on any other argument adduced by us in support of that 
proposition — insisted that that was the main question — and re- 
plied to our arguments as if they had been adduced in sup- 
port of that. 

You misrepresent our logic. Assuming that the fact of ac- 
tual attainment is the main proposition which we are laboring 
to establish, and in support of which we adduce the fact of 
actual attainment only as an argument, you misrepresent our 
reasoning. To put this matter in the clearest light, I will 
place side by side, the syllogisms which you put in our mouths 
and our own syllogisms. 



TOUR. SYLLOGISMS IMPUTED TO US. 

1. " Whatever is attainable in this 
life, is actually attained in this life. 
A state of perfect holiness is attaina- 
ble in this life; therefore it is actually 
attained." 



2. 4< Whatever is possible by the 
provisions of the gospel in this life, 
will take place in this life; the perfect 
eanctification of all believers is pos- 
sible by those provisions; therefore it 
will actually take place in this life*" 



3. " In relation to the commands, 
it will be sufficient to say, that al- 
though the Bible does command a 
etate of perfect holiness, in the present 
life, it does not follow that the com- 
mand is in any instance obeyed fully 
on earth. Before we can arrive at 
this conclusion, we must adopt the fol- 
lowing principle; that is, that what- 
ever is commanded in the Bible is ac- 



OUR OWN SYLLOGISMS. 

1. Whatever is attainable in this 
life may be aimed at, with the rational 
hope of attaining it; entire sanctifica- 
tion is attainable in this life; therefore 
the attainment of this state may be 
aimed at with a rational hope of suc- 



2, Whatever attainment is possi- 
ble, by the provisions of the gospel, 
in this life, may be aimed at by those 
under the gospel, with a rational hope 
of attaining it; the perfect sanctifica- 
tion of believers is possible by these 
provisions; therefore believers may 
aim at making this attainment, with a 
rational hope of success, 

3. Whatever the Bible commands 
to be done in this life may be done; 
the Bible commands Christians to be 
perfect in this life: therefore, they may 
be perfect in this life. 



188 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY 



tually performed by the subjects of that 
command." 

The syllogism would stand thus; 

Whatever is commanded by God, 
is actually performed; perfect holiness 
is commanded; therefore all men are 
perfectly holy. 



Now, brethren, I ask if you will 
deny the major premise, the minor pre- 
mise, or the conclusion in either of the 
above syllogisms? You cannot deny 
either. I beseech you then, to consid- 
er what injustice you have done to 
yourselves, to us, your brethren, and 
to the cause of truth, by such an eva- 
sion and misrepresentation of our logic. 



5. What your logic must be to meet our argument as wc 
have stated it. If you would state in syllogistic form an 
argument that shall meet and set aside our reasoning, it must 
stand thus: That a thing is attainable in this life, is no proof 
that it can be attained. This must be assumed as a major 
premise, by any one who would answer our logic. But who 
does not see, that this amounts to a denial of tin identical 
proposition? The same as to say — that a thing being attain- 
able in this life, is no proof that it is attainable in this life. 
But to waive this consideration, and state the argument as it 
must stand in syllogistic form; to meet and refute our logic, 
it must stand thus: 'That a thing is attainable in this life is no 
proof that it can be attained. Entire sanctification is attain- 
able in this life. Therefore, its attainability is no proof that 
it can be attained.' Who does not see, that the major pre- 
mise is false, and that therefore the conclusion is? Now ob- 
serve, we admit, that its attainability is no proof that it zvill 
be attained. But we insist, that its attainability is proof 
that the attainment may be aimed at with a rational hope of 
success. 

Again, would you meet our second argument with a syllogism, 
it must stand thus: l That God commands a state of entire 
sanctification in this life, is no proof that such a state is at- 
tainable in this life. God does command a state of entire 
sanctification in this life. Therefore the command is no proof 
that such a state is attainable.' Brethren, this argument 
would have the attribute of logical conclusiveness, if the ma- 
jor premise were not false. The very same course must be 
pursued by you, would you meet and set aside our reasoning 
in respect to our other arguments. This is so manifest, that 
I need not state the syllogisms. 

II. In respect to our inference in favor of the doctrine of 
entire sanctification in this life, drawn from the prayers of 
inspiration, and the fact that all Christians are commanded to 
pray for the entire sanctification of believers in this life, you 
snv as follows: 



SANCTIFICATION. 



189 



fc Similar defects characterize the arguments drawn from 
the prayers which the Bible records, as well as those which it 
authorizes Christians to make. It is true, that Christ prayed 
for his disciples in language the most elevated: '■Sanctify 
them through the truth.' The same may he said of the great 
Apostle, when he prayed: \ And the very God of peace sanc- 
tify you wholly.' We are directed to pray that God's will 
may be done on earth as in heaven, and in general author- 
ized to pray for a perfect victory over all sin at every time. 
These are the facts. Now, what is the inference? The ad- 
vocate of ' Perfection' responds — that some believers are per- 
fectly sanctified in the present life. These and kindred facts 
we offer, to prove this conclusion. Is there then between 
the two a certain connection? If we admit the one must we 
logically admit the other? Facts speak a very different lan- 
guage. Were those included in the prayer of Christ, thus 
sanctified, and that from the moment of its utterance? Was 
the same true of all the Christians of Thcssalonica? Has 
the will of God yet been done on earth as perfectly as in 
heaven? Has every believer who has hungered and thirsted 
after righteousness, attained to sinless perfection in this life? 
Did not Paul most fervently pray for the salvation of Israel, 
and have not thousands of Jews since died in their sins? Did 
he not pray that the thorn in his flesh might be removed, and 
was it removed? The grand mistake in this reasoning is that 
it fixes what the nature and terms of prayer do not fix; that 
is, the time when and the place where, the sought blessing 
shall be obtained.' 

On this I remark: 

This appears to me a most remarkable paragraph. Here 
you quote a part of 1 Thess. 5: 23: L And the very God of 
peace sanctify you wholly,' and then stop, assuming that 
nothing can be affirmed in respect to the time when the Apos- 
tle prayed that this blessing might be granted. Now, belov- 
ed brethren, why did you not quote the whole passage, when 
it would have been most manifest, that the Apostle actually 
prayed for the blessing to be granted in this life? I will 
quote it and see if this is not so: 'The \ery God of peace 
sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and 
soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of 
our Lord Jesus Christ.' 

As the sanctification of the ' body,' as well as the soul, and 
spirit, is prayed for, and that the whole being may be 'preserved 
blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,' how can 



190 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



you say as you do — ' The grand mistake in this reasoning is 
that it fixes what the nature and the terms of prayer do not fix, 
that is, the time when and place where the sought blessing shall 
be obtained.' Does not this prayer contemplate the bestow- 
ment of this blessing in this life? Who can reasonably deny 
it? Again: You say, l We are directed to pray that God's 
will may be done on earth as in heaven, and in general au- 
thorized to pray for a victory over all sin at every time.' 
Now how can you make this admission, and still add the as- 
sertion just quoted, that t prayer does not fix the time when 
this blessing is to be expected?' Certainly, the time when 
is, in this prayer, limited to this life. In order to meet our 
argument, based upon the prayer of the Apostles, and the in- 
junction of Christ, to pray for the entire sanctification of be- 
lievers in this life, you must argue as follows. Here again I 
put the syllogisms into separate columns, that you may see 
them in contrast. 



OUR SYLLOGISMS. 

Whatever state was prayed for by 
the Spirit of inspiration, Christians 
may aim at with a rational hope of at- 
taining; the Spirit of inspiration prayed 
for the entire sanctification of saints in 
this life; therefore, Christians may 
aim at this attainment with the expec- 
tation of success. 



YOUR REASONING PUT IN SYLLOGISTIC 
FORM. 

That the Spirit of inspiration pray- 
ed for the entire sanctification of be- 
lievers in this life, is no evidence that 
an answer to this prayer may be ex- 
pected by saints in this life. Paul, 
under the spirit of inspiration, did 
pray for the entire sanctification of the 
saints in this life. Therefore, this 
prayer is no evidence that saints may 
aim at being entirely sanctified in this 
life with a rational hope of being so 
sanctified. 

Again: That Christ has made it the 
universal duty of saints to pray for the 
entire sanctification of Christians in 
this life, is no evidence that they may 
offer this prayer, with a rational ex- 
pectation of being answered. Christ 
has made it the universal duty of 
Christians to pray for entire sanctifi- 
cation in this life. Therefore, this is 
no evidence that they may offer this 
prayer with the rational hope of being 
heard and answered. 

Now brethren, whose logic is most conclusive? 

III. In one paragraph of your report you admit and de- 
ny at the same breath, that entire sanctification is promised 
in this life. You say — 

u It is a glorious truth, that God has promised to all believ- 
ers a final victory over sin, which undoubtedly will be ac- 



Again: Whatever state Christians 
are required to pray for in this life, 
they may pray for with the expectation, 
of being heard and answered. Chris- 
tians are required to pray for a state 
of entire sanctification in this life. 
Therefore, they may pray for this at- 
tainment with the expectation of being 
heard and answered in this life. 



SANCTIFICATION. 191 

complished in some period of their history. But does it fol- 
low, that because believers are to be perfectly sanctified at 
sometime and somewhere, the present life will be the time 
and place of this perfect sanctification? Let a promise be 
adduced, if it can be, that fixes the period of this event to 
the present life. The divine promises, like the provisions of 
the gospel, are conditioned as to the degree of their results, 
by appropriative acts on the part of the believer. Hence, 
the fallacy of the argument is apparent, in that it takes for 
granted that some believers in the present life do fully com- 
ply with all the conditions contemplated in the promises 
themselves. Without this assumption it proves nothing.' 

In the first part of this paragraph, you deny that God, 
anywhere in the Bible, promises a state of entire sanctifica- 
tion in this life, and request that one promise be adduced, 
that fixes this event to the present life. And then you seem 
immediately to admit that the blessing is promised, on the 
condition of l appropriative acts on the part of the believer.' 
This you must intend to admit, inasmuch as you have before 
admitted that l should a believer avail himself of all the re- 
sources of the gospel, 'he might make this attainment.' Cer- 
tainly you will not pretend to have any authority for such an 
admission, unless the promises when fairly interpreted do 
proffer such a state to christians upon condition of ' appropri- 
ative acts.' How shall we understand such a denial and ad- 
mission at the same breath as this paragraph contains? 

But you request that one promise may be adduced that 
fixes the period of entire sanctification to the present life. 
I might quote many: but as you ask for only one, I will quote 
one, and the one, a part of which you have quoted — 1 Thess. 
"2: 23,' 21; c The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; 
and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be 
preserved blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.' 

That this prayer and promise relate to this life, I think 
can not consistently be questioned. The prayer is that the 
; body,' as well as the '■spirit and soul,' be wholly sanctified, 
and *■ be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord 
Jesus Christ.' Then the promise — 'Faithful is He that cal- 
leth you, who also will do it.' Does not this relate to this 
life? 

IV. You deny that christians can kno,v that they are in 
a state of entire sanctification. 



192 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

You say fc If a case of perfection were admitted to be real, 
still it is impossible, in the present state of our faculties, to 
find and predicate certain knowledge of it.' 

Here, assuming as you do that the main proposition re- 
spects the fact of actual attainment, you insist that this fact, 
did such cases exist, would be entirely insusceptible of proof. 
Indeed! Does God command man to do what he can not 
know that he does, even if he does it? This would be pass- 
ing strange. You admit that God requires men to be entire- 
ly sanctified — condemns them if they are not — but yet deny 
that they could know that they obeyed, if they did. This 
would indeed be a singular requirement — to command a man 
on pain of eternal death to do that which he could not possi- 
bly know that he did, even if he did it. This denial of abili- 
ty to know, whether we are in a state of entire sanctifica- 
tion, is a total denial of the doctrine of natural ability as I 
presume it is held by every member of your body. Do not 
every one of you, my brethren, hold that natural ability to 
obey a command is the sine qua non of moral obligation to 
obey it? Do not you hold that a man can not be under a 
moral obligation to do what he can not understand — to use a 
power which he does not know himself to possess — to employ 
his faculties in any kind or degree of service which he can- 
not know to be his duty? Now if a man does all that he is 
able to know himself capable of doing, is he under a moral 
obligation to do anything more? Bnt if he is unable to 
know that he falls short of his duty, does he fall short of it? 
Brethren, will you give us light upon this subject? Do you, 
— will you seriously maintain that a man is naturally unable 
to know whether he obeys the commands of God, and yet, 
that he is condemned and liable to be damned for coming 
short, when he could not know that he came short? Breth- 
ren, will you maintain this? 

V. Your answer to our proof texts is a very summary one. 
It consists simply in afhrming that we have misapplied them 
— that we regard certain terms as proofs of perfection, which 
are only distinctive of Christian character, — and, that we 
interpret them in an absolute and unrestricted sense — with- 
out so much as naming one of them. You have indeed, 
quoted one passage, and affirmed that ; a better proof text 
can not well be conceived.' Bnt we have never regarded 
nor quoted it as a proof text at all. Your disposal of our 
proof texts is really a short hand method of getting over 
them. But there was one difficulty in the way of your 



SANCTIFICATION. 



193 



quoting and answering them, which was — that had you quot- 
ed them, it would have appeared to every body, that they 
were used by us to prove another proposition than that 
which you were controverting. 

VI. Our arguments in support of the fact of attainment, 
you have passed over almost in silence. At the same time you 
have taken our arguments adduced to prove the practical at- 
tainability, and replied to them as if adduced to prove the 
fact of actual attainment. Brethren, we think we have rea- 
son to feel grieved with this. 

VII. You find yourselves obliged to be exceedingly in- 
definite in regard to the measure of attainment which Chris- 
tians may rationally hope to make in this life. You say t the 
question is not whether it is the duty and privilege of the 
church to rise much higher in holy living than it has ever yet 
done in this world.' Now, brethren, I ask how much higher 
attainments Christians may make in this world than they 
have ever yet made? This is, with us, and must be with the 
church, a question of all-absorbing interest. Do you answer 
to this question, that Christians may make indefinitely higher 
attainments than they have yet made? I ask again, on what 
authority is this affirmation made? Do you argue it from the 
fact that the gospel has promised sufficient grace to Chris- 
tians on condition of appropriative acts, to secure in them a 
higher state of holiness than has yet been attained? But if 
Christians may rationally hope to attain a higher state of 
holiness than has ever yet been attained, by appropriating 
to themselves promises which proffer entire sanctificadon in 
this, life, why may they not rationally aim at attaining all 
that the gospel has promised to them? Brethren, will you 
answer this question? 

Appended to your report is a resolution, expressing 're- 
gret and sorrow at the ground taken on this subject by the 
Theological Professors at Oberlin.' Will you permit us to 
reciprocate your regret and sorrow, and express our deep 
grief that the Presbytery of Troy have taken such ground 
upon this subject, and so misapprehended, and of course mis- 
represented the arguments of their brethren? 

I must close this communication with a few 



REMARKS. 



1. We admit you had a right to take issue with us on the 
question of actual attainment, if you were dissatisfied with 
17 



194 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

our course of argument on that position. But you had no 
right to represent our argument in support of another posi- 
tion, as you have done. You had no right to represent our 
argument in favor of the practical attainability, as having 
been adduced in support of the fact of actual attainment. 
This you have done, and by so doing, you have done your 
brethren and the cause of truth great injustice. 

2. To what I have said in this article, you may reply, that 
you never denied the practical attainability of a state of en- 
tire sanctification, and that, therefore, on that question, you 
have no controversy with us. Why then, my brethren, did 
you not admit, that in our main position you agree with us, 
and that you only deny one of the arguments by which we 
attempted to support that position? This, as Christian men, 
you were bound to do. But instead of this, you have said 
nothing about admitting our main position; but made the 
transfer of our arguments to the support of the one upon 
which you take issue, and thus represent our logic as absurd 
and ridiculous. 

We shall be happy to discuss the question of actual attain- 
ment with our brethren, when they ingenuously admit that 
the main position we have taken, (namely, the practical at- 
tainability of a state of entire sanctification in this life,) is a 
truth of the Bible. 

3. Permit me to ask, my brethren, what opponent or course 
of argument might not be rendered ridiculous by the course 
you have taken — that is, by stating another proposition than 
that intended to be supported, and then representing the 
whole course of argument as intended to support the substi- 
tuted proposition? 

4. Should you say that your report was not intended as a 
reply to our argument, I ask, who has ever argued in sup- 
port of this doctrine in the manner you represent? Who 
ever inferred, that because men have natural power to obey 
God, therefore they do obey Him? I have read with atten- 
tion almost every thing that has come to hand upon this sub- 
ject, and I never saw or heard of any such mode of argu- 
mentation as that to which you profess to reply. 

5. Will your Presbytery, in reply to what I have written, 
excuse themselves by saying, that their treatment of our ar- 
gument was an oversight — that they had supposed us to rea- 
son in the way they have represented us as reasoning? To 
this I must reply, that you were bound to understand our ar- 
gument before you replied to it, in your public or any other 



SANCTIFICATION. 

capacity. And especially were you under this obligation, in- 
asmuch as I had twice written to a leading member of your 
body, beseeching him, in the bowels of Christian love, to ex- 
amine this subject, and to be sure he did it in a spiritual 
frame of mind, before he committed himself at all upon the 
question. 

6. Will you, dear brethren, permit me to ask how long the 
opposers of the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life, 
expect to retain the confidence of the church, and prevent 
their understanding and believing this doctrine, by such a 
course of procedure as this? You are no doubt aware that 
your course is not a novel one, but that it has been substan- 
tially pursued by several other opposers of this doctrine. 

And now, beloved brethren in the Lord, do not understand 
me as entering into a war of words with you, or as enter- 
taining the least unkind feeling in my heart towards you. I 
most cheerfully leave to your deliberate and prayerful con- 
sideration, the remarks I have freely made on your report. 
1 cannot however refrain from saying, that when I saw the 
name of one whom I greatly loved, and with whom I had 
often taken sweet counsel, attached to that report, my heart 
felt a kind of spontaneous gushing, and I almost involunta- 
rily exclaimed, L Et lu, Brute P 

Yours in the bonds of Christian love, 

C. G. Finney. 

Since these replies were published, nothing worthy of no- 
tice has appeared in opposition to them that has fallen under 
my observation, but the policy seems to have been adopted 
of preventing further inquiry upon the subject. Neverthe- 
less the agitation of the question in the minds and hearts of 
private Christians and of many ministers, is going steadily 
and in many places rapidly forward, as I have good reason 
to know. Indeed it is manifest that there is increasing light 
and interest upon the subject, and it is beginning, or, I should 
say, fast coming to be better understood and its truthfulness 
and its importance appreciated. No thanks however are 
due to some of the leading journalists of the day, if this 
blessed and glorious truth be not hunted from the world as 
most pernicious error. Nothing could have been more unfair 
and unjust than the course pursued by some of them has been. 
May the blessed Lord bring them to see their error and for- 
give them, not laying this sin to their charge. 

It may doubtless appear unaccountable to the public in 
general, both in this country and elsewhere, that no objection 



196 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

was made to the doctrine of entire sanctification when pub- 
lished in the New York Evangelist, and afterwards in the 
form of a volume, and so extensively circulated, and that the 
same doctrine should excite so much alarm when published 
in the Oberlin Evangelist. It may also appear strange ihat 
such pains should have been taken to confound our views 
with those of antinomian perfectionists, when every one can 
see that there is no more analogy between their views, as set 
forth in their Confession of Faith, and our views, than be- 
tween them and any thing else. This they have all along 
alledged, and consequently have been amongst our bitterest 
opposers. Perhaps it is not best that the public should be 
made acquainted with the springs of influence that have 
stirred up and put in motion all this hurricane of ecclesiasti- 
cal and theological opposition to Oberlin. It is unpleasant 
to us to name and disclose it, and perhaps the cause of truth 
docs not at present, at least, demand it." 






LECTURE LV. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

II. I AM TO REMIND YOU OF SOME POINTS THAT HAVE 
BEEN SETTLED IN THIS COURSE OF STUDY. 

1. The true intent and meaning of the law of God has 
been, as I trust, ascertained in the lectures on moral govern- 
ment. Let this point, if need be, be examined by reference 
to that volume. 

2. We have also seen in that volume what is not and what 
is implied in entire obedience to the moral law. 

3. In that volume, Lecture, XII, and also in the lecture on 
justification and repentance in this volume, it has been shown 
that nothing is acceptable to God as a condition of justifica- 
tion and of consequent salvation but a repentance that implies 
a return to full obedience to the moral law. 

4. It has also been shown that nothing is holiness short 
of full obedience, for the time being, to the moral law. 

5. It has also been shown that, regeneration and repentance 
consist in the heart's return to full obedience for the time 
being to this law. 

6. We have also seen in the lecture on justification, that 
the saints under both the old and the new dispensation not 
only claimed to render entire obedience for the time being, 
but also that God expressly testifies of them that they did 
actually render this obedience. 

7. We have also examined the doctrine of depravity and 
seen that moral depravity or sin consists in selfishness, and 
not at all in the constitution of men; that selfishness does not 
consist in the involuntary appetites, passions, and propensi- 
ties, but that it consists alone in the committal of the will to 
the gratification of the propensities. 

8. We have seen that holiness consists, not at all in the 
constitution of body or mind; but that it belongs, strictly, 
only to the will or heart, and consists in obedience of will to 
the law of God as it lies revealed in the intelligence; that it 
isexpressed in one word, love; that this love is identical with 

17* 



198 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

the entire consecration of the whole being to the glory of 
God and to the highest well-being of the universe; or in oth- 
er words, that it consists in disinterested benevolence. 

9. We have seen that all true saints, while in a state of 
acceptance with God, do actually render for the time being 
full obedience to all the known requirements of God; that 
is, that they do for the time being their whole duty — all that 
God, at this time, requires of them. 

10. We have seen that this obedience is not rendered, in- 
dependent of the grace of God, but is induced by the in- 
dwelling Spirit of Christ received by faith, and reigning in 
the heart. This fact will be more fully elucidated in this dis- 
cussion than it has been in former lectures. A former lec- 
ture was devoted to it; but a fuller consideration of it re- 
mains to be entered upon hereafter. 

III. DEFINE THE PRINCIPAL TERJIS TO BE USED IN THIS 
DISCUSSION. 

1. Here let me remark, that a definition of terms in all 
discussions is of prime importance. Especially is this true 
of this subject. I have observed that, almost without an ex- 
ception, those who have written on this subject dissenting 
from the views entertained here, do so upon the ground that 
they understand and define the terms Sanctification and 
Christian Perfection differently from what we do. Every 
one gives his own definition, varying materially from others 
and from what we understand by the terms; and then they 
go on professedly opposing the doctrine as inculcated here. 
Now this is not only utterly unfair, but palpably absurd. If 
I oppose a doctrine inculcated by another man, 1 am bound 
to oppose what he really holds. If I misrepresent his senti- 
ments, L - 1 fight as one that beateth the air." I have been 
amazed at the diversity of definitions that have been given to 
the terms Christian Perfection, Sanctification, &c; and to 
witness the diversity of opinion as to what is, and what is 
not. implied in these terms. One objects wholly to the use 
of the term Christian Perfection, because in his estimation it 
implies this and that and the other thing, which I do not sup- 
pose are at all implied in it. Another objects to our using the 
term Sanctification, because that implies, according to his 
understanding of it, certain things that render its use im- 
proper. Now it is no part of my design to dispute about the 
use of words. I must, however, use some terms; and I ought 
to be allowed to use Bible language in its Scriptural sense, 



SANCTIFICATION. 199 

as I understand it. And if I should sufficiently explain my 
meaning and define the sense in which I use the terms, and 
the sense in which the Bible manifestly uses them, this ought 
to suffice. And I beg that nothing more or less may be un- 
derstood by the language 1 use than I profess to mean by it. 
Others may, if they please, use the same terms and give a 
different definition of them. But 1 have a right to hope and 
expect, if they feel called upon to oppose what I say, that 
they will bear in mind my definition of the terms, and not 
pretend, as some have done, to oppose my views, while they 
have only differed from me in their definition of the terms 
used, giving their own definition varying materially and, I 
might say, infinitely from the sense in which I use the same 
terms, and then arraying their arguments to prove that ac- 
cording to their definition of it, Sanctification is not really at- 
tainable in this life, when no one here or any where else, that 
I ever heard of, pretended that in their sense of the term, it 
ever was or ever will be attainable in this life, and I might 
add, or in that which is to come. 

Sanctification is a term of frequent use in the Bible. Its 
simple and primary meaning is a state of consecration to God. 
To sanctify is to set apart to a holy use — to consecrate a 
thing to the service of God. This is plainly both the old 
and the new testament use of the term. The Greek word 
hagiazo means to sanctify, to consecrate or devote a person 
or thing to a particular, especially to a sacred use. This 
word is synonymous with the Hebrew kaudash. This last 
word is used in the old testament to express the same thing 
that is intended by the Greek hagiazo^ namely, to consecrate, 
devote, set apart, sanctify, purify, make clean or pure. Ha- 
giasmos, a substantive from hagiazo, means sanctification, de- 
votion, consecration, purity, holiness. 

From the Bible use of these terms it is most manifest, 

1. That sanctification does not imply any constitutional 
change either of soul or body. It consists in the consecra- 
tion or devotion of the constitutional powers of body and 
soul to God. and not in any change wrought in the constitu- 
tion itself. 

2. It is also evident from the scriptural use of the term 
that sanctification is not a phenomenon or state of the intel- 
ligence. It belongs to neither the reason, conscience, nor 
understanding. In short it can not consist in any state of 
the intelligence whatever. All the states of this faculty are 



200 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

purely passive states of mind; and of course, as we have 
abundantly seen, holiness is not properly predicable of them. 

3. It is just as evident that sanctification, in the scripture 
and proper sense of the term, is not a mere feeling of any 
kind. It is not a desire, an appetite, a passion, a propensity, 
an emotion, nor indeed any kind or degree of feeling. It is 
not a state or phenomenon of the sensibility. The states of 
the sensibility are, like those of the intelligence, purely pas- 
sive states of mind, as has been repeatedly shown. They 
of course can have no moral character in themselves. 

4. The Bible use of the term when applied to persons, for- 
bids the understanding of it as consisting in any involunta- 
ry state or attitude of mind whatever. 

5. The inspired writers evidently used the terms which 
are translated by the English word sanctify, to designate a 
phenomenon of the will, or a voluntary state of mind. They 
used the term hagiazo in Greek, and kaudash in Hebrew, to 
represent the act of consecrating one's self, or any thing else 
to the service of God and to the highest well-being of the 
universe. The term manifestly not only represents an act 
of the will, but an ultimate act or choice as distinguished 
from a mere volition or executive act of the will. Thus the 
terms rendered sanctified are used as synonymous with loving 
God with all the heart and our neighbor as ourselves. The 
Greek hagiasmos, translated by the word sanctification, is 
evidently intended to express a slate or attitude of voluntary 
consecration to God, a continued act of consecration; or a 
state of choice as distinct from a mere act of choice, an abi- 
ding act or state of choice, a standing and controlling prefer- 
ence of mind, a continuous committal of the will to the high- 
est well-being of God and of the universe. Sanctification, 
as a state differing from a holy act is a standing, ultimate in- 
tention, and exactly synonymous or identical with a state of 
obedience or conformity to the law of God. We have re- 
peatedly seen that the will is the executive or controling fac- 
ulty of the mind. Sanctification consists in the will's devo- 
ting or consecrating itself and the whole being, all we are 
and have, so far as powers, susceptibilities, possessions are un- 
der the control of the will, to the service of God, or, which 
is the same thing, to the highest interests of God and of be- 
ing. Sanctification, then, is nothing more or less than entire 
obedience for the time being to the moral law. 

Sanctification may be entire in two senses: (1.) In the sense 
of present, full obedience or entire consecration to God; and, 






SANCTIFICATION. 



201 



(2.) In the sense of continued, abiding consecration or obedi- 
ence to God. Entire sanctification when the terms are used 
in this sense consists in being established, confirmed, preserved, 
continued in a state of sanctification or of entire consecration 
to God. 

In this discussion then I shall use the terms entire sanctifi- 
cation to designate a state of confirmed and entire consecra- 
tion of body, soul and spirit or of the whole being to God — 
confirmed, not in the sense, (1.) That a soul entirely sancti- 
fied can not sin, but that as a matter of fact, he does not and 
will not sin. (2.) Nor do I use the terms entire sanctification 
as implying that the entirely sanctified soul is in no such dan- 
ger of sinning as to need the thorough use and application 
of all the means of grace to prevent him from sinning and to 
secure his continued sanctification. Nor, (3.) Do I mean by 
entire sanctification a state in which there will be no farther 
struggle or warfare with temptation, or in which the christian 
warfare will cease. This certainly did not cease in Christ to 
the end of life, nor will it with any being in the flesh. (4.) 
Nor do I use the terms as implying a state in which no far- 
ther progress in holiness is possible. No jfuch state is or ever 
will be possible to any creature, for the plain reason, that all 
creatures must increase in knowledge ; and increase of knowl- 
edge implies increase of holiness in a holy being. The 
saints will doubtless grow in grace or holiness to all eternity. 
(5.) Nor do 1 mean by the terms entire sanctification that 
the entirely sanctified soul will no longer need the continual 
grace and indwelling spirit of Christ to preserve it from sin 
and to secure its continuance in a state of consecration to 
God. It is amazing that such men as Dr. Beecher and others 
should suppose that a state of entire consecration implies that 
the entirely sanctified soul no longer needs the grace of Christ 
to preserve it. Entire sanctification instead of implying no 
farther dependence on the grace of Christ, implies the con- 
stant appropriation by faith of Christ as the sanctification of 
the soul. 

But since entire sanctification, as I understand the term, 
is identical with entire and continued obedience to the law of 
God, and since I have in lectures on moral government fully 
shown what is not and what is implied in full obedience to 
the law of God, to avoid much repetition in this place, I must 
refer you to what I have there said upon the topics just 
named. 



202 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

IV. Show what the real question now at issue is. 

1. It is not whether a state of present full obedience to the 
divine law is attainable in this life. For this has I trust been 
clearly established in former lectures. 

2. It is not whether a state of permanent, full obedience 
has been attained by all or by any of the saints on earth. 

3. But the true question at issue is: Is a state of entire, in 
the sense of permanent sanctification, attainable in this life. 

If in this discussion I shall insist upon the fact that this 
state has been attained, let it be distinctly understood that 
the fact that the attainment has been made, is only adduced 
in proof of the attainability of this state; that it is only one 
of the arguments by which the attainability of this state is 
proved. Let it also be distinctly borne in mind that if there 
should be in the estimation of any one a defect in the proof 
that this state has been attained, still the integrity and conclu- 
siveness of the other arguments in support of the attainability 
will not thereby be shaken. It is no doubt true that the at- 
tainability of this state in this life may be abundantly estab- 
lished entirely irrespective of the question whether this state 
has ever been attained. 

Let me, therefore, be distinctly understood as maintaining 
the attainability of this state as the true question at issue, and 
that I regard the fact that this state has been attained only 
as one method of proving or as a fact that demonstrates its 
attainability. Dr. Woods admitted the attainability of a 
state of entire sanctification in this life, and contested only 
the fact of its actual attainment. But he should not have ad- 
mitted the attainability with his idea of what is implied in it, 
as has been shown. For example, if, as he supposed, entire 
sanctification is a state in which no farther progress in grace 
or holiness is possible or in which there is and can be no chris- 
tian warfare or struggle with temptation, he had no right to 
admit that any such state as this is attainable in this life. I 
do not admit, but utterly deny that any such state is at all 
attainable in this life, even if it is in any state of existence 
whatever. 

But again: While Dr. Woods admitted that entire sanctifi- 
cation is attainable in this life, he denied that it is attainable 
in any practical sense, in such a sense that it is rational to ex- 
pect or hope to make the attainment. He says we may 
attain it, but holds it to be dangerous error to expect to attain 
it. We may or might attain it, but we must not hope to attain 



SANCTIFICATION. 



203 



it in this life. But how does he know? Does the Bible re- 
veal the fact that we never shall? We shall see. 

The true question is, Is a state of entire, established, abi- 
ding consecration to God attainable in this life in such a 
sense that we may rationally expect or hope to become thus 
established in this life? Are the conditions of attaining this 
established state in the grace and love of God such that we 
may rationally expect or hope to fulfil them and thus become 
established or entirely sanctified in this life? This is un- 
doubtedly the true and the greatly important question to be 
settled. 

Let no one throw fog and embarrass our enquiries by do- 
ing as Dr. W. has done, that is, by admitting and denying 
the attainability of this state at the same breath; admitting 
it, to save his orthodoxy with the New School, who maintain 
the doctrine of natural ability, and denying it as a practical 
or practicable thing, to save himself from the charge of per- 
fectionism. It is certainly a grave and most important ques- 
tion whether we may rationally hope or expect ever in this 
life to attain to such an established state of grace and faith 
and love, or, which is the same thing, to such an established 
state of entire consecration as to have done with slipping and 
falling and sinning against the blessed God. Certainly the 
bleeding, yearning, agonized spirit of the saint recently recover- 
ed from a fall, ought not to be tantalized with metaphysical or 
theological quibbles when it asks with agonizing interest, How 
long, Lord? Is there no hope that I can or shall arrive, in 
this life, at a state in which, through mighty reigning grace, 
I shall have done with abusing thee? It appears to me mon- 
strous and barbarous to answer such a soul, as has been done 
by saying to him, You may attain such a state, but it is dan- 
gerous error to expect ever to cease abusing God while you 
live in this world. I can conceive of no temptation to take 
one's own life greater than this. The almost irresistible re- 
ply of the soul to such an announcement under such circum- 
stances would be, Why then, in the name of the Lord I will 
cease to live. If I may not hope to live without abusing 
God, I will not live at all. 



LECTURE LVI. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

V. That entire sanctification is attainable in this 

LIFE. 

I will here introduce some things which I have said under 
this head in former lectures on this subject. 

1. It is self-evident that entire obedience to God's law is 
possible on the ground of natural ability. To deny this, is to 
deny that a man is able to do as well as he can. The very 
language of the law is such as to level its claims to the ca- 
pacity of the subject, however great or small that capacity 
may be. u Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.' 
Here then it is plain, that all the law demands, is the exercise 
of whatever strength we have, in the service of God. Now, as 
entire sanctification consists in perfect obedience to the law 
of God, and as the law requires nothing more than the right 
use of whatever strength we have, it is of course forever set- 
tled that a state of entire sanctification is attainable in this 
life on the ground of natural ability. 

This is generally admitted by those who are called new 
school divines. Or perhaps I should say, it generally has 
been admitted by them, though at present some of them 
seem inclined to give up the doctrine of natural ability, and 
to take refuge in physical depravity, rather than admit the 
attainableness of a state of entire sanctification in this life. 
But let men take refuge where they will, they can never es- 
cape from the plain letter and spirit and meaning of the law 
of God. Mark with what solemn emphasis it says, u Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy 
soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength." This is 
its solemn injunction, whether it be given to an angel, a man 
or a child. An angel is bound to exercise an angel's strength; 
a man, the strength of a man; and a child, the strength of a 
child. It comes to every moral being in the universe just as 
he is, and where he is, and requires, not that he should create 
new powers, or possess other powers than he has, but that 



SANCTIFICATION. 



205 



such as his powers are, they should all be used with the ut- 
most perfection and constancy for God. And to use again 
the language of a respected brother, " If we could conceive 
of a moral pigmy, the law levels its claims to his capacities, 
and says to him, 'Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and with all thy strength.'" And should a man by his own 
fault render himself unable to use one of his hands, one eye, 
one foot, or any power of body or mind, the law does not say 
to him in such a case, use all the powers and all the strength 
you might have had, but only use what powers and what 
strength remain. It holds him guilty and condemns him for 
that act or neglect which diminished his ability; but it no 
longer in any instance requires the use of that power of body 
or mind which has been destroyed by that act. 

For a fuller development of this truth see Lectures on 
Ability, No. xlvi, xlvii, xlviii, of this course. Also Lec- 
ture i, on Moral Government, pp. 5 — 11. 

2. The provisions of grace are such as to render its actual 
attainment in this life, the object of reasonable pursuit. It is 
admitted that the entire sanctification of the Church is to be 
accomplished. It is also admitted that this work is to be ac- 
complished w through the sanctification of the Spirit and the 
belief of the truth." It is also universally agreed that this 
work must be begun here; and also that it must be completed 
before the soul can enter heaven. This then is the inquiry: 

Is this state attainable as a matter of fact before death? 

It is easy to see that this question can be settled only 
by a reference to the word of God. And here it is of fun- 
damental importance that we understand the rules by which 
scripture declarations and promises are to be interpreted. I 
have already given several rules in the light of which we 
have endeavored to interpret the meaning of the law. I will 
now state several plain common sense rules by which the 
promises are to be interpreted. The question in regard to the 
rules of biblical interpretation, is fundamental to all religious 
inquiries. Until the Church are agreed to interpret the scrip- 
tures in accordance with certain fixed and undeniable princi- 
ples, they can never be agreed in regard to what the Bible 
teaches. I have often been amazed at the total disregard of 
all sober rules of biblical interpretation. On the one hand 
the threatenings, and on the other the promises, are either 
thrown away, or made to mean something entirely different 
from that which was intended by the Spirit of God. At pre- 
sent, I will only mention a few plain, common-sense, and self- 



206 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

evident rules for the interpretation of the promises. In the 
light of these, we may he able to settle the inquiry before us, 
viz: whether the provisions of grace are such as to render 
entire and permanent sanctification, in this life, an object of 
reasonable pursuit. 

(1.) The language of a promise is to be interpreted by a 
reference to the known character of him who promises, 
where this character is known in other ways than by the 
promise itself; for example: 

[1.] If the promisor is known to be of a very bountiful dis- 
position, or the opposite of this, these considerations should 
be taken into the account in interpreting the language of his 
promise. If he is of a very bountiful disposition, he may be 
expected to mean all that he seems to mean in the language 
of his promise, and a very liberal construction should be put 
upon his language. But if his character is known to be the 
opposite of bountifulness, and it is known that whatever he 
promised would be given with great reluctance, his language 
should be construed strictly. 

[2.] His character for hyperbole andextravagance in the 
use of language should be taken into the account in interpre- 
ting his promises. If it be well understood that the promisor 
is in the habit of using extravagant language — of saying 
much more than he means, this circumstance should, in all 
justice, be taken into the account in the interpretation of the 
language of his promises. But on the other hand, if he be 
known to be an individual of great accuracy, and to use lan- 
guage with great circumspection and propriety, we may free- 
ly understand him to mean what he says. His promise may 
be in figurative language and not to be understood literally, 
but in this case even, he must be understood to mean what 
the figure naturally and fully implies. 

[3.] The fact should be taken into the account, whether the 
promise was made deliberately or in circumstances of great 
but temporary excitement. If the promise was made delib- 
erately, it should be interpreted to mean what it says. But 
if it was made under great but temporary excitement, much 
allowance is to be made for the state of mind which led 
to the use of such strong language. 

(2.) The relation of the parties to each other should be du- 
ly considered in the interpretation of the language of a pro- 
mise; for example, the promise of a father to a son admits 
of a more liberal and full construction than if the promise 
were made to a stranger, as the father may be supposed to 



S A NOTIFICATION. 



207 



cherish a more liberal and bountiful disposition towards a son 
than towards a person in whom he has no particular interest. 

(3.) The design of the promisor in relation to the neces- 
sities of the promisee or person to whom the promise is 
made, should be taken into the account. If it be manifest 
that the design of the promisor was to meet the necessities 
of the promisee, then his promise must be so understood as 
to meet these necessities. 

(4.) If it be manifest that the design of the promisor was 
to meet the necessities of the promisee, then the extent of 
these necessities should be taken into the account in the in- 
terpretation of the promise. 

(5.) The interest of the promisor in the accomplishment 
of his design, or in fully meeting and relieving the necessi- 
ties of the promisee, should be taken into the account. If 
there is the most satisfactory proof, aside from that w T hich is 
contained in the promise itself, that the promisor feels the 
highest interest in the promisee and in fully meeting and re- 
lieving his necessities, then his promise must be understood 
accordingly. 

(6.) If it is known that the promisor has exercised the 
greatest self-denial and made the greatest sacrifice for the 
promisee, in order to render it proper or possible for him to 
make and fulfill his promises, in relation to relieving his ne- 
cessities, the state of mind implied in this conduct, should be 
fully recognized in interpreting the language of the promise. 
It would be utterly unreasonable and absurd in such a case 
to restrict and pare down the language of his promise so as 
to make it fall entirely short of what might reasonably be ex- 
pected of the promisor, from those developments of his char- 
acter, feelings, and designs, which were made by the great 
self-denial he has exercised and the sacrifices he has made. 

(7.) The bearing of the promise upon the interests of the 
promisor should also be taken into the account. It is a gen- 
eral and correct rule of interpretation, that when the thing 
promised has an injurious bearing upon the interests of the 
promisor, and is something which he cannot well afford to 
do, and might therefore be supposed to promise with reluc- 
tance, the language in such a case is to be strictly construed. 
No more is to be understood by it than the strictest construc- 
tion will demand. 

(8.) But if on the other hand the thing promised will not 
impoverish, or in any way be inimical to the interests of the 
promisor, no such construction is to be resorted to. 



208 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

(9.) Whenever the thing promised is that which the promis- 
or has the greatest delight in doing or bestowing; and when 
he accounts it " more blessed to give than to receive;" and 
where it is well known by other revelations of his character, 
and by his own express and often repeated declarations, that 
he has the highest satisfaction and finds his own happiness in 
bestowing favors upon the promisee, in this case the most 
liberal construction should be put upon the promise, and he 
is to be understood to mean all that he says. 

(10.) The resources and ability of the promisor to meet 
the necessities of the promisee without injury to himself, are 
to be considered. If a physician should promise to restore 
a patient to perfect health, it might be unfair to understand 
him as meaning all that he says. If he so far restored the 
patient as that he recovered in a great measure from his dis- 
ease, it might be reasonable to suppose that this was all he 
really intended, as the known inability of a physician to re- 
store an individual to perfect health might reasonably modify 
our understanding of the language of his promise. But 
when there can be no doubt as to the ability, resources, and 
willingness of the physician to restore his patient to perfect 
health, then we are, in all reason and justice, required to be- 
lieve he means all that he says. If God should promise to 
restore a man to perfect health who was diseased, there can 
be no doubt that his promise should be understood to mean 
what his language would import. 

(11.) When commands and promises are given by one per- 
son to another, in the same language, in both cases it is to be 
understood alike, unless there be some manifest reason to the 
contrary. 

(12.) If neither the language, connection, nor circumstan- 
ces, demand a diverse interpretation, we are bound to under- 
stand the same language alike in both cases. 

(13.) I have said we are to interpret the language of law 
so as to consist with natural justice. I now say, that we are 
to interpret the language of the promises so as to consist with 
the known greatness, resources, goodness, bountifulness, re- 
lations, design, happiness, and glory of the promisor. 

(14.) If his bountifulness is equal to his justice, his promises 
of grace must be understood to mean as much as the require- 
ments of his justice. 

(15.) If he delights in giving as much as in receiving, his 
promises must mean as much as the language of his require- 
ments. 



SANCTIFICATION. 



209 



(16.) If he is as merciful as he is just, his promises of 
mercy must be as liberally construed as the requirements of 
his justice. 

(17.) If " he delighteth in mercy," if himself says "judg- 
ment is his strange work," and mercy is that in which he has 
peculiar satisfaction, his promises of grace and mercy are to 
be construed even more liberally, if any thing, than the com- 
mands and threatenings of his justice. The language in 
this case is to be understood as meaning quite as much as 
the same language would in any supposable circumstances. 

(18.) Another rule of interpreting and applying the prom- 
ises, which has been extensively overlooked, is this, that the 
promises are all u yea and amen in Christ Jesus.' They are 
all founded upon and expressive of great and immutable 
principles of God's government. God is no respecter of 
persons. He knows nothing of favoritism. But when He 
makes a promise, He reveals a principle of universal appli- 
cation to all persons in like circumstances. Therefore the 
promises are not restricted in their application to the indi- 
vidual or individuals to whom they were first given, but may 
be claimed by all persons in similar circumstances. And 
what God is at one time, He always is. What He has prom- 
ised at one time or to one person, He promises at all times 
to all persons under similar circumstances. That this is a 
correct view of the subject is manifest from the manner in 
which the New Testament writers understood and applied 
the promises of the Old Testament. Let any person, with a 
reference Bible, read the New Testament with a design to 
understand how its writers applied the promises of the Old 
Testament, and he will see this principle brought out in all 
its fulness. The promises made to Adam, Noah, Abraham, 
the Patriarchs, and to the inspired men of every age, togeth- 
er with the promises made to the Church, and indeed all the 
promises of spiritual blessings — it is true of them all, that 
what God has said and promised once, He always says and 
promises, to all persons and at all times, and in all places, 
where the circumstances are similar. 

Having stated these rules, in the light of which we are to 
interpret the language of the promises, I will say a few words 
in regard to the question when a promise becomes due, and 
on what conditions we may realize its fulfillment. I have 
said some of the same things in the first volume of the Ober- 
lin Evangelist. But I wish to repeat them in this connec- 
tion, and add something more. 
18* 



210 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

[1.] All the promises of salification in the Bible, from 
their very nature, necessarily imply the exercise of our own 
agency in receiving the thing promised. As sanctification 
consists in the right exercise of our own agency, or in obedi- 
ence to the law of God, a promise of sanctification must 
necessarily be conditioned upon the exercise of faith in the 
promise. And its fulfillment implies the exercise of our own 
powers in receiving it. 

[2.] It consequently follows, that a promise of sanctifica- 
tion, to be of any avail to us, must be due at some certain 
time, expressed or implied in the promise: that is, the time 
must be so fixed, either expressly or impliedly, as to put us 
into the attitude of waiting for its fulfillment, for if the ful- 
fillment of the promise implies the exercise of our agency, 
the promise is a mere nullity to us, unless we are able to un- 
derstand when it becomes due in such a sense that we may 
wait for and expect its fulfillment. The promise of Christ 
to the Apostles concerning the outpouring of the Spirit on 
the day of Pentecost, may illustrate my meaning. He had 
promised that they should receive the baptism of the Holy 
Spirit not many days hence. This w T as sufficiently definite 
to bring them into an attitude of continual waiting upon the 
Lord, with the expectation of receiving the promise. And 
as the baptism of the Holy Spirit involved the exercise of 
their own agency, it is easy to see that this expectation was 
indispensable to their receiving the blessing. But had they 
understood Christ to promise this blessing at a time so indefi- 
nitely future as to leave them without the daily expectation 
of receiving it, they might, and doubtless w r ould have gone 
e.bout their business until some further intimation on his 
part that he was about to bestow it, had brought them into 
an attitude of waiting for its fulfillment. 

[3.] A promise in the present tense is on demand. In 
other words, it is always due, and its fulfillment may be plead 
and claimed by the promisee at any time. 

[4."1 A promise due at a future specified time, is after that 
time on demand, and may at any time thereafter be plead as 
a promise in the present tense. 

[5.] A great many of the Old Testament promises be- 
came due at the advent of Christ. Since that time they are 
to be considered and used as promises in the present tense. 
The Old Testament saints could not plead their fulfillment 
to them; because they were either expressly or impliedly in- 
formed, that they were not to be fulfilled until the coming of 
Christ All that class of promises, therefore, that became 



SANCTIFICATION. 21 1 

due "in the last days," are to be regarded as now due or as 
promises in the present tense. 

[6.] Notwithstanding these promises are now due, yet they 
are expressly or impliedly conditioned upon the exercise of 
faith, and the right use of the appropriate means, by us, to 
receive their fulfillment. 

[7.] When a promise is due, we may expect the fulfillment 
of it at once or gradually, according to the nature of the 
blessing. The promise that the world shall be converted in 
the latter day, does not imply that we are to expect the 
world to be converted at any one moment of time; but that 
the Lord will hasten it in its time, according to the faith and 
efforts of the Church. On the other hand, when the thing- 
promised may in its nature be fulfilled at once, and when the 
nature of the case makes it necessary that it should be, then 
its fulfillment may be expected whenever we exercise faith. 

[8.] There is a plain distinction between promises of 
grace and of glory. Promises of glory are of course not to 
be fulfilled until we arrive at heaven. Promises of grace, 
unless there be some express or implied reason to the con- 
trary, are to be understood as applicable to this life. 

[9.] A promise also may be unconditional in one sense, 
and conditional in another; for example, promises made to 
the Church as a body may be absolute and their fulfillment 
be secure and certain, sooner or later, while their fulfillment 
to any generation of the Church, may be and must be con- 
ditioned upon their faith and the appropriate use of means. 
Thus the promise of God, that the Church should possess 
the land of Canaan was absolute and unconditional in such a 
sense as that the Church, at some period, would, and certain- 
ly must take possession of that land. But the promise was 
conditional in the sense that the entering into possession, by 
any generation, depended entirely upon their own faith and 
the appropriate use of means. So the promise of the world's 
conversion, and the sanctification of the Church under the 
reign of Christ, is unconditional in the sense, that it is cer- 
tain that those events will at some time occur, but when they 
will occur — what generation of individuals shall receive this 
blessing, — is necessarily conditioned upon their faith. This 
principle is plainly recognized by Paul in Heb. 4: 6,11: 
u Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, 
and they to whom it was first preached entered not in be- 
cause of unbelief;*' "Let us labor therefore to enter into that 
rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.'"' 



LECTURE LVII. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

BIBLE ARGUMENT. 

I come now to consider the question directly, and wholly 
as a Bible question, whether entire sanctification is in such 
a sense attainable in this life as to make its attainment an 
object of rational pursuit. 

1. It is evident from the fact, expressly stated, that abundant 
means are provided for the accomplishment of this end. Eph. 
4: 15 — 19; "He that descended is the same also that ascen- 
ded up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. 
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, 
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfect- 
ing of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying 
of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the 
faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a per- 
fect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of 
Christ; that we henceforth be no more children tossed to and 
fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the 
sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in 
wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up 
into him in all things, which is the head even Christ; from 
whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by 
that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual 
working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of 
the body, unto the edifying of itself in love. 1 ' Upon this 
passage I remark: 

(1.) That what is here spoken of is plainly applicable only 
to this life. It is in this life that the apostles, evangelists, 
prophets and teachers exercise their ministry. These means, 
therefore, are applicable, and so far as we know, only appli- 
cable to this life. 

(2.) The Apostle here manifestly teaches that these means 
are designed, and adequate to perfecting the whole Church as 
the body of Christ, * till we all come in the unity of the faith 



SANCTIFICATION. 



213 



and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto the measure 
of the stature of the fulness of Christ." Now observe: 

(3.) These means are for the perfecting of the saints, till 
the whole church, as a perfect man, " has come to the measure 
of the stature of the fulness of Christ." If this is not entire 
sanctification, what is? That this is to take place in this 
world, is evident from what follows. For the Apostle adds: 
"That we henceforth be no more tossed to and fro, and car- 
ried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men 
and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive." 

(4.) It should be observed that this is a very strong passage 
in support of the doctrine, inasmuch as it asserts that abun- 
dant means are provided for the sanctification of the church 
in this life. And as the whole includes all its parts, there 
must be sufficient provision for the sanctification of each in- 
dividual. 

(5.) If the work is ever to be effected, it is by these means. 
But these means are used only in this life. Entire sanctifi- 
cation then must take place in this life. 

(6.) If this passage does not teach a state of entire sancti- 
fication, such a state is no where mentioned in the Bible. 
And if believers are not here said to be wholly sanctified by 
these means, and of course in this life, I know not that it is 
any where taught that they shall be sanctified at all. 

(7.) But suppose this passage to be put into the language of a 
command, how should we understand it? Suppose the saints 
commanded to be perfect, and to " grow up to the measure of 
the stature of the fulness of Christ," could any thing less 
than entire sanctification be understood by such requisitions? 
Then by what rule of sober criticism, I would inquire, can 
this language, used in this connection, mean any thing less 
than I have supposed it to mean? 

2. But let us look into some of the promises. It is not 
my design to examine a great number of scripture prom- 
ises, but rather to show that those which I do examine, fully 
sustain the positions I have taken. One is sufficient, if it be 
full and its application just, to settle this question forever. I 
might occupy many pages in the examination of the promises, 
for they are exceedingly numerous, and full, and in point. 
But my design is at present to examine somewhat critically 
a few only out of the many. This will enable you to apply 
the same principles to the examination of the scripture prom- 
ises generally. 



2H SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

(I.) I begin by referring you to the law of God, as given in 
Deut. 10: 12; " And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy 
God require of thee, but to fearthe Lord thy God, to walk in 
all his ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul." Upon this passage 
I remark: 

[1.] It professedly sums up the whole duty of man to God 
— to fear and love Him with all the heart and all the soul. 

[2.] Although this is said of Israel, yet it is equally true 
of all men. It is equally binding upon all, and is all that 
God requires of any man in regard to himself. 

[3.] Continued obedience to this requirement is entire 
sanctification, in the sense in which I use those terms. 

See Deut. 30: 6; ''• And the Lord thy God will circumcise 
thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy 
God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou 
mayest live." Here we have a promise couched in the same 
language as the command just quoted. Upon this passage I 
remark: 

a. It promises just what the law requires. It promises 
all that the first and great commandment any where demands. 

b . Obedience to the first commandment always implies 
obedience to the second. It is plainly impossible that we 
should "love God, whom we have not seen," and "not love 
our neighbor whom we have seen." 

c. This promise, on its very face, appears to mean just 
what the law means — to promise just what the law requires. 

d. If the law requires a state of entire sanctification, or 
if that which the law requires is a state of entire sanctifica- 
tion, then this is a promise of entire sanctification. 

e. As the command is universally binding upon all and 
applicable to all, so this promise is universally applicable to 
all who will lay hold upon it. 

/ Faith is an indispensable condition of the fulfillment 
of this promise. It is entirely impossible that we should love 
God with all the heart, without confidence in him. God be- 
gets love in man, in no other way, than by so revealing him- 
self as to inspire confidence — that confidence which works 
by love. In Rules 10 and 11, for the interpretation of the 
promises, it is said, that "Where a command and a promise 
are given in the same language, we are bound to interpret 
the language alike in both cases, unless there be some mani- 
fest reason for a different interpretation." Now here there 
is no perceivable reason why we should not understand the 



SANCTIFICATION. 215 

language of the promise as meaning as much as the language 
of the command. This promise appears to have been de- 
signed to cover the whole ground of the requirement. 

g. Suppose the language in this promise to be used in a 
command, or suppose that the form of this promise were 
changed into that of a command. Suppose God should say 
as he does elsewhere, " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
with all thy heart and with all thy soul:" who would doubt 
that God designed to require a state of entire sanctification 
or consecration to himself. How then are we to understand 
it when used in the form of a promise? See Rules 14 and 
15: "If his bountifulness equal his justice, his promises of 
grace must be understood to mean as much as the requirements 
of his justice." "If he delights in giving as much as in re- 
ceiving, his pflbmises must mean as much as the language of 
his requirements." 

h. This promise is designed to be fulfilled in this life 
The language and connection imply this: "I will circumcise 
thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy 
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul." This in some 
sense takes place in regeneration, but more than simple re- 
generation seems here to be promised. It is plain 1 think 
that this promise relates to a state of mind and not merely to 
an exercise. 

i. This promise as it respects the church, at some day, 
must be absolute and certain. So that God will undoubtedly 
at some period, beget this state of mind in the church. But 
to what particular individuals and generation this promise 
will be fulfilled must depend upon their faith in the promise. 

j. Since the promise is as full as the command, and 
since the law requires perpetual obedience, we are to under- 
stand the promise as pledging a state of permanent obedi- 
ence. This also is implied in the language of the promise. 
To circumcise the heart, implies establishing the soul in love. 

(2.) See Jer. 31: 31 — 34: "Behold, the days come, saith 
the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of 
Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the 
covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took 
them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt, 
(which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband 
unto them, saith the Lord;) but this shall be the covenant 
that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, 
saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and 
write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall 



216 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

by my people. And they shall teach no more every man his 
neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; 
for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto 
the greatest of them saith the Lord; for I will forgive their 
iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Upon this 
passage, I remark: 

[L] It was to become due, or the time when its fulfillment 
might be claimed and expected, was at the advent of Christ. 
This is unequivocally settled in Heb. 8: 8 — 12, where this 
passage is quoted at length as being applicable to the gospel 
day. 

[2.] This is undeniably a promise of entire sanctification. 
It is a promise that the u law shall be written in the heart.' 1 
It means that the very temper and spirit required by the law 
shall be begotten in the soul. Now if the law requires en- 
tire sanctification or perfect holiness, this is certainly a pro- 
mise of it; for it is a promise of all that the law requires. 
To say that this is not a promise of entire sanctification, is 
thesame absurdity as to say, that perfect obedience to the 
law is not entire sanctification; and this last is the same ab- 
surdity as to say that something more is our duty than what 
the law requires; and this again is to say that the law is im- 
perfect and unjust. 

[3.] A permanent state or entire sanctification is plainly 
implied in this promise. 

a. The reason for setting aside the first covenant was, 
that it was broken; u Which my covenant they brake." One 
grand design of the New Covenant is, that it shall not be bro- 
ken, for then it will be no better than the first. 

b. Permanency is implied in the fact, that it is to be en- 
graven in the heart. 

c. Permanency is plainly implied in the assertion, that God 
will remember their sin no more. In Jer. 32: 39, 40, where 
the same promise is in substance repeated, you will find it 
expressly stated that the covenant is to be "everlasting;" 
and that he will so ." put his fear in their hearts that they 
shall not depart from him." Here permanency is as express- 
ly promised as it can be. 

d. Suppose the language of this promise to be thrown in- 
to the form of a command. Suppose God to say, " Let my 
law be within your hearts, and let it be in your inward parts, 
and let my fear be so within your hearts that you shall not de- 
part from roe. Let your covenant with me be everlasting." 
If this language were found in a command, would any man in 



SANCTIFICATION. 



217 



his senses doubt that it meant to require perfect and permanent 
sanctification? If not, by what rule of sober interpretation 
does he make it mean any thing else when found in a prom- 
ise? It appears to be profane trifling, when such language is 
found in a promise, to make it mean less than it does when 
found in a command. See Rule 17. 

e. This promise as it respects the church, at some period 
of its history, is unconditional, and its fulfilment certain. 
But in respect to any particular individuals or generations of 
the Church, its fulfilment is necessarily conditioned upon their 
faith. 

/. The Church, as a body, have certainly never received 
this new covenant. Yet doubtless multitudes, in every age 
of the Christian dispensation, have received it. And God 
will hasten the time when it shall be so fully accomplished, 
that there shall be no need for one man to say to his brother, 
4 * Know ye the Lord, for all shall know him from the least to 
the greatest." 

g. It should be understood that this promise was made to 
the Christian Church and not at all to the Jewish Church. The 
saints, under the old dispensation, had no reason to expect the 
fulfillment of this and kindred promises to themselves, because 
their fulfillment was expressly deferred until the commence- 
ment of the Christian dispensation. 

h. It has been said, that nothing more is promised than 
regeneration. But were not the Old Testament saints regen- 
erated? Yet it is expressly said that they received not the 
promises. Heb. 11: 13,39,40: " These all died in faith, not 
having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, 
and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and con- 
fessed that they were stranger's and pilgrims on the earth. 1 ' 
M And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, 
received not the promise; God having provided some better 
thing for us, that they without us should not be made per- 
fect." Here we see that these promises were not received 
by the Old Testament saints. Yet they were regenerated. 

i. It has also been said that the promise implies no more 
than the final perseverance of the saints. But I would in- 
quire, did not the Old Testament saints persevere? And yet 
we have just seen, that the Old Testament saints did not re- 
ceive these promises in their fulfillment. 

(3.) I will next examine the promise in Ezek. 36: 25 — 27: 
"Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be 
clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I 
19 



218 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new 
spirit will I put within your and I will take away the stony 
heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk 
in my statutes, and ye shall keep myjudgments and do them." 
Upon this I remark: 

[1.] It was written within nineteen years after that which 
we have just examined in Jeremiah. It plainly refers to the 
same time, and is a promise of the same blessing. 

[2.] It seems to be admitted, nor can it be denied, that this 
is a promise of entire sanctiflcation. The language is very 
definite and full. ^Then," referring to some future time 
when it should become due, tt will I sprinkle clean water upon 
you, and ye shall be clean.'" Mark, the first promise is, u ye 
shall be clean." If to be t; clean" does not mean entire 
sanctiflcation. what does it mean? 

The second promise is, k - from all your filthiness and from 
all your idols will I cleanse you." If to be cleansed " from 
all filthiness and all idols," be not a state of entire sanctifl- 
cation, what is? 

The third promise is, "a new heart also will I give you, and a 
new spirit will I put within you; I will take away the stony 
heart out of your flesh and will give you a heart of flesh." 
If to have a " clean heart," a u new heart," a " heart of 
flesh,*' in opposition to a u heart of stone," be not entire 
sanctiflcation, what is? 

The fourth promise, is "I will put my Spirit within you, and 
cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judg- 
ments and do them." 

[3.] Let us turn the language of these promises into that 
of command, and understand God as saying, " Make you a 
clean heart, a new heart, and a new spirit; put away all your 
iniquities, all your filthiness, and all your idols; walk in my 
statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them " Now what 
man in the sober exercise of his reason, would doubt wheth- 
er God meant to require a state of entire sanctiflcation in 
such commands as these? The rules of legal interpretation 
would demand that we should so understand him. Rule 5: 
concerning the interpretation of promises, says, "The inter- 
est of the promisor in the accomplishment of his design or 
in fully meeting and relieving the necessities of the promisee, 
should also be taken into the account. If there is the most 
satisfactory proof, aside from that which is contained in the 
promise itself, that the promisor feels the highest interest 



SANCTIFICATION. 



219 



in the promisee, and in fully meeting and relieving his ne- 
cessities, then his promise must be understood accordingly." 

If this is so, what is the fair and proper construction of 
this language when found in a promise? I do not hesitate to 
say that to me it is amazing that any doubt should be left on 
the mind of any man whether, in these promises, God means 
as much as in his commands, couched in the same language; 
for example, see Ezek. 18: 30, 31: "Repent, and turn your- 
selves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be 
your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, 
whereby ye have transgressed: and make you a new heart 
and a new spirit; for why will you die, O house of Israel?'' 
Now that the language in the promise under consideration, 
should mean as much as the language of this command, is 
demanded by every sober rule of interpretation. And who 
ever dreamed, that when he required his people to put away 
all their iniquities, he only meant that they should put away 
a part of them. 

[4.] This promise respects the Church, and it cannot be 
pretended that it has ever been fulfilled according to its 
proper import, in any past age of the Church. 

[5.] As it regards the Church, at a future period of its his- 
tory, this promise is absolute, in the sense that it certainly 
will be fulfilled. 

[6.] It was manifestly designed to apply to Christians under 
the new dispensation, rather than to the Jews under the old 
dispensation. The sprinkling of clean water and the out- 
pouring of the Spirit, seem plainly to indicate that the prom- 
ise belonged more particularly to the Christian dispensation. 
It undeniably belongs to the same class of promises with 
that in Jer. 31: 31 — 34, Joel 2: 28, and many others, that 
manifestly look forward to the gospel day as the time when 
they shall become due. As these promises have never been 
fulfilled, in their extent and meaning, their complete fulfill- 
ment remains to be realized by the Church as a body. And 
those individuals and that generation will take possession of 
the blessing, who understand and believe and appropriate 
them to their own case. 

(4.) I will next examine the promise in 1 Thess. 5: 23, 24: 
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I 
pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved 
blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faith- 
ful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." Upon this I 
remark : 



120 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

[1.] It is admitted, that this is a prayer for and a promise 
of entire sanctification. 

[2.] The very language shows, that both the prayer and 
the promise refer to this life, as it is a prayer for the sancti- 
fication of the body as well as the soul; also that they might 
be preserved, not after, but unto the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. 

[3.] This is a prayer of inspiration, to which is annexed 
an express promise that God will do it. 

[4.] Its fulfillment is, from the nature of the case, condi- 
tioned upon our faith, as sanctification without faith is natu- 
rally impossible. 

[5.] Now if this promise, with those that have already been 
examined, does not, honestly interpreted, fully settle the 
question of the attainability of entire sanctification in this 
life, it is difficult to understand how any thing can be settled 
by an appeal to scripture. 

There are great multitudes of promises of the same im- 
port, to which I might refer you, and which if examined in 
the light of the foregoing rules of interpretation, would be 
seen to heap up demonstration upon demonstration, that this 
is a doctrine of the Bible. Only examine them in the light 
of these plain, self-evident principles, and it seems to me, 
that they cannot fail to produce conviction. 

I will no longer occupy your time in the examination of 
the promises, but having examined a few of them in proof of 
the position that a state of entire sanctification is attainable 
in this life, I will now proceed to mention other considerations 
in support of this doctrine. 

3. Christ prayed for the entire sanctification of saints in 
this life. " I pray not," he says, M that thou shouldest take 
them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them 
from the evil." He did not pray that they should be kept 
from persecution or from natural death, but he manifestly 
prayed, that they should be kept from sin. Suppose Christ 
had commanded them to keep themselves from the evil of the 
world; what should we understand him to mean by such a 
command? 

4. Christ has taught us to pray for entire sanctification in 
this life: "Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heav- 
en." Now, if there is entire sanctification in heaven, Christ 
requires us to pray for its existence on earth. And is it 
probable that he has taught us to pray for that which he 
knows never can be or will be granted? 



SANCTIFICATION. 



221 



5. The Apostles evidently expected Christians to attain 
this state in this life. See Col. 3: 12: " Epaphras, who is 
one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring 
fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and 
complete in all the will of God." Upon this passage I re- 
mark: 

(1.) It was the object of the efforts of Epaphras, and a 
thing which he expected to effect, to be instrumental in cau- 
sing those Christians to be " perfect and complete in all the 
will of God." 

(2.) If this language does not describe a state of entire 
in the sense of permanent sanctification, I know of none that 
would. If "to be perfect and complete in all the will of 
God," be not Christian Perfection, what is? 

(3.) Paul knew that Epaphras was laboring to this end, and 
with this expectation; and he informed the Church of it in a 
manner that evidently showed his approbation of the views 
and conduct of Epaphras. 

6. That the Apostles expected Christians to attain this 
state is farther manifest, from 2 Cor. 7: 1: " Having there- 
fore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves 
from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness, 
in the fear of God." 

Now does not the Apostle speak in this passage as if he 
really expected those to whom he wrote u to perfect holiness 
in the fear of God?" Observe how strong and full the lan- 
guage is, M Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the 
flesh and spirit." If * to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness 
of the flesh and all filthiness of the spirit, and to perfect ho- 
liness," be not entire sanctification, what is? That he expec- 
ted this to take place in this life, is evident from the fact that 
he requires them to be cleansed from all filthiness of the 
flesh as well as of the spirit. This passage plainly contem- 
plates a state as distinguished from an act of consecration or 
sanctification, that is, it evidently expresses the idea of entire 
in the sense of continued sanctification. 

7. All the intermediate steps can be taken. Therefore 
the end can be reached. There is certainly no point in our 
progress towards entire sanctification, where it can be said 
we can go no farther. To this it has been objected, that 
though all the intermediate steps can be taken, yet the goal 
can never be reached in this life, just as five may be divided 
by three, ad infinitum, without exhausting the fraction. Now 
this illustration deceives the mind that uses it, as it may the 

19* 



222 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

minds of those who listen to it. It is true that yo u can 
never exhaust the fraction in dividing five by three, for the 
plain reason that the division may be carried on, ad infinitum. 
There is no end. You cannot in this case take all the inter- 
mediate steps, because they are infinite. But in the case of 
entire sanctification, all the intermediate steps can be taken; 
for there is an end, or state of entire sanctification, and that, 
too, at a point infinitely short of infinite. 

8. That this state may be attained in this life, I argue from 
the fact that provision is made against all the occasions of 
sin. Men sin only when they are tempted, either by the 
world, the flesh, or the devil. And it is expressly asserted 
that in every temptation, provision is made for our escape. 
Certainly if it is possible for us to escape without sin, under 
every temptation, then a state of entire and permanent sanc- 
tification is attainable. 

9. Full provision is made for overcoming the three great 
enemies of our souls, the world, the flesh, and the devil. 

(1.) The world — " This is the victory that overcometh the 
world, even your faith." " Who is he that overcometh the 
world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Christ." 

(2.) The flesh — "If ye walk in the Spirit, ye shall not ful- 
fill the lusts of the flesh." 

(3.) Satan — "The shield of faith shall quench all the fiery 
darts of the wicked." "And God shall bruise Satan under 
your feet shortly." 

Now all sober rules of Biblical criticism require us to un- 
derstand the passages I have quoted, in the sense in which 
I have used them. 

10. God is able to perform this work in and for us. Eph. 
3: 14 — 19: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Fath- 
er of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in 
heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you accord- 
ing to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might 
by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in 
your hearts by faith: that ye, being rooted and grounded in 
love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the 
breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the 
love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be 
rilled with all the fulness of God." Upon this passage I 
remark: 

(1.) Paul evidently prays here for the entire sanctification 
of believers in this life. It is implied in our being "rooted 
and grounded in love," and being "filled with all the fulness 



SANCTIFICATION. 223 

of God," that we be as perfect in our measure and according 
to our capacity, as he is. If to be tilled with the fulness of 
God, does not imply a state of entire sanctification, what 
does? 

(2.) That Paul did not see any difficulty in the way of 
God's accomplishing this work, is manifest from what he says 
in the twentieth verse — "Now unto him that is able to do 
exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, accord- 
ing to the power that worketh in us, &c." 

11. The Bible no where represents death as the termina- 
tion of sin in the saints, which it could not fail to do, were 
it true that they cease not to sin until death. It has been 
the custom of the Church, for a long time, to console indi- 
viduals, in view of death, by the consideration that it would 
be the termination of all their sin. And how almost univer- 
sal has been the custom in consoling the friends of deceased 
saints, to mention this as a most important fact, that now they 
had ceased from sin ! Now if death is the termination of sin 
in the saints, and if they never cease to sin until they pass 
into eternity, too much stress never has been or can be laid 
upon that circumstance; and it seems utterly incredible that 
no inspired writer should ever have noticed the fact. The 
representations of scripture are all right over against this 
idea. It is said, ^Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, 
for they rest from their labors, and their works do follow 
them." Here it is not intimated that they rest from their 
sins, but from their good works in this life; such works as 
shall follow, not to curse, but to bless them. The representa- 
tions of scripture are that death is the termination of the 
saint's sufferings and labors of love in this world, for the 
good of men and the glory of God. But no where in the 
Bible is it intimated that the death of a saint is the termina- 
tion of his serving the devil. 

But if it be true that Christians continue to sin till they 
die, and death is the termination, and the only termination of 
their sin, it seems to me impossible that the scripture repre- 
sentations on the subject should be what they are. 

12. The Bible representations of death are utterly incon- 
sistent with its being an indispensable means of sanctifica- 
tion. Death is represented as an enemy in the Bible. But 
if death is the only condition upon which men are brought 
into a state of entire sanctification, its agency is as impor- 
tant and as indispensable as the influence of the Holy Ghost. 
When death is represented in the Bible as any thing else 



224 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

than an enemy, it is because it cuts short the sufferings of 
the saints, and introduces them into a state of eternal glory 
— not because it breaks them off from communion with the 
devil! How striking is the contrast between the language of 
the Church and that of inspiration on this subject! The 
Church is consoling the Christian in view of death, that it 
will be the termination of his sins — that he will then cease 
to serve the devil and his own lusts. The language of inspi- 
ration, on the other hand, is, that he will cease, not from 
wicked, but from good works, and labors and sufferings for 
God in this world. The language of the Church is, that then 
he will enter upon a life of unalterable holiness — that he 
shall then, and not till then, be entirely sanctified. The 
language of inspiration is, that because he is sanctified, death 
shall be an entrance into a state of eternal glory. 

13. Ministers are certainly bound to set up some definite 
standard, to which as the ministers of God, they are to in- 
sist upon complete conformity. And now I would ask, what 
other standard can they and dare they set up than this? To 
insist upon any thing less than this, is to turn Pope and 
grant an indulgence to sin. But to set up this standard, and 
then inculcate that conformity to it is not, as a matter of 
fact, attainable in this life, is as absolutely to take the part 
of sin against God, as it would be to insist upon repentance 
in theory, and then avow that in practice it is not attainable. 

And here let me ask Christians what they expect ministers 
to preach? Do you think they have a right to connive at 
any sin in you, or to insist upon any thing else as a practica- 
ble fact than that you should abandon every iniquity? It is 
sometimes said, that with us entire sanctification is a hobby. 
But I would humbly ask what else can we preach? Is not 
ever} 7 minister bound to insist in every sermon that men shall 
wholly obey God? And because they will not compromise 
with any degree or form of sin, are they to be reproached 
for making the subject of entire obedience a hobby? I ask, 
by what authority can a minister preach any thing less? 
And how shall any minister dare to inculcate the duty as a 
theory, and yet not insist upon it as a practical matter, as 
something to be expected of every subject of God's kingdom. 

14. A denial of this doctrine has the natural tendency to 
beget the very apathy witnessed in the Church. Professors 
of religion go on in sin, without much conviction of its wick- 
edness. Sin unblushingly stalks abroad even in the Church 
of God, and does not fill Christians with horror, because 



SANCTIFICATION. 225 

they expect its existence as a thing of course. Tell a young 
convert that he must expect to backslide, and he will do so 
of course, and with comparatively little remorse, because he 
looks upon it as a kind of necessity. And being led to ex- 
pect it, you find him, in a few months after his conversion, 
away from God, and not at all horrified with his state. Just 
so, inculcate the idea among Christians that they are not 
expected to abandon all sin, and they will of course go on in 
sin with comparative indifference. Reprove them for their 
sin, and they will say, u O, we are imperfect creatures; we 
do not pretend to be perfect, nor do we expect we ever shall 
be in this world." Many such answers as these will show 
you at once the God-dishonoring and soul-ruining tendency 
of a denial of this doctrine. 

15. A denial of this doctrine prepares the minds of minis- 
ters to temporize and wink at great iniquity in their churches. 
Feeling as they certainly must, if they disbelieve this doc- 
trine, that a great amount of sin in all believers is to be ex- 
pected as a thing of course, their whole preaching, and spirit, 
and demeanor, will be such as to beget a great degree of 
apathy among Christians in regard to their abominable sins. 

16. If this doctrine is not true, how profane and blasphe- 
mous is the covenant of every church of every evangelical 
denomination. Every church requires its members to make 
a solemn covenant with God and with the church, in the 
presence of God and angels, and with their hands upon the 
emblems of the broken body and shed blood of the blessed 
Jesus, " to abstain from all ungodliness and every worldly 
lust, to live soberly and righteously in this present world." 
Now if the doctrine of the attainability of entire sanctifica- 
tion in this life is not true, what profane mockery is this cov- 
enant! It is a covenant to live in a state of entire sanctifi- 
cation, made under the most solemn circumstances, enforced 
by the most awful sanctions, and insisted upon by the minis- 
ter of God standing at the altar. Now what right has any 
minister on earth to require less than this? 

And again, what right has any minister on earth to require 
this, unless it is a practicable thing, and unless it is expected 
of him who makes the vow? 

Suppose when this covenant was proposed to a convert 
about to unite with the church, he should take it to his closet, 
and spread it before the Lord, and inquire whether it would 
be right for him to make such a covenant — and whether the 
grace of the gospel can enable him to fulfill it. 



22G SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

Do you suppose the Lord Jesus would reply, that if he 
made that covenant, he certainly would, and must as a mat- 
ter of course live in the habitual violation of it as long as he 
lives, and that his grace was not sufficient to enable him to 
keep it? Would he in such a case have any right to take 
upon himself this covenant? No, no more than he would 
have a right to lie to the Holy Ghost. 

17. It has long been maintained by orthodox divines, that 
a person is not a Christian who does not aim at living with- 
out sin — that unless he aims at perfection, he manifestly con- 
sents to live in sin; and is therefore impenitent. It has been 
said, and I think truly, that if a man does not in the fixed 
purpose of his heart, aim at total abstinence from sin, and 
at being wholly conformed to the will of God, he is not yet 
regenerated, and does not so much as mean to cease from 
abusing God. In Barnes' Notes upon 2 Cor. 7: 1, we have 
the following: 

"The unceasing and steady aim of every Christian should 
be perfection — perfection in all things — in the love of God, 
of Christ, of man; perfection of heart, and feeling, and emo- 
tion; perfection in his words, and plans, and dealings with 
men; perfection in his prayers, and in his submission to the 
will of God. No man can be a Christian who does not sin- 
cerely desire it, and who does not constantly aim at it. No 
man is a friend of God who can acquiesce in a state of sin, 
and who is satisfied and contented that he is not as holy as 
God is holy. And any man who has no desire to be perfect 
as God is, and who does not make it his daily and constant 
aim to be as perfect as God, may set it down as demonstrably 
certain that he has no true religion." 

Now if this is so, I would ask how a person can aim at, 
and intend to do what he knows to be impossible. Is it not a 
contradiction to say that a man can intend to do what he 
knows he cannot do? To this it has been objected, that if 
true, it proves too much — that it would prove that no man 
ever was a Christian who did not believe in this doctrine. 
To this I reply: 

(1.) A man may believe in what is really a state of entire 
sanctification, and aim at attaining it, although he may not 
call it by that name. This I believe to be the real fact with 
Christians; and they would much more frequently attain 
what they aim at, did they know how to appropriate the 
grace of Christ to their own circumstances. Mrs. President 
Edwards, for example, firmly believed that she could attain a 



SANCTIFICATION. 



227 



state of entire consecration. She aimed at and manifestly 
attained it, and yet, such were her views of physical deprav- 
ity, that she did not call her state one of entire sanctifica- 
lion. It has been common for Christians to suppose that a 
state of entire consecration is attainable; but while they be- 
lieve in physical depravity, they would not of course, call 
even entire consecration, entire sanctification. Mrs. Ed- 
wards believed in, aimed at, and attained, entire consecra- 
tion. She aimed at what she believed to be attainable, and 
she could aim at nothing more. She called it by the same 
name with her husband who was opposed to the doctrine of 
christian perfection as held by the Wesleyan Methodists, 
manifestly on the ground of his notions of physical deprav- 
ity, i care not what this state is called, if the thing be fully 
explained and insisted upon, together with the conditions of 
attaining it. Call it what you please, christian perfection, 
heavenly mindedness, the full assurance of faith or hope, or 
a state of entire consecration; by all these I understand the 
same thing. And it is certain, that by whatever name it is 
called, the thing must be aimed at to be attained. The prac- 
ticability of its attainment must be admitted, or it can not be 
aimed at. 

And now I would humbly inquire whether to preach any 
thing short of this is not to give countenance to sin? 

18. Another argument in favor of this doctrine is that the 
gospel as a matter of fact, has often, not only temporarily, 
but permanently and perfectly overcome every form of sin, 
in different individuals. Who has not seen the most beastly 
lusts, drunkenness, lasciviousness, and every kind of abomi- 
nation, long indulged and fully ripe, entirely and forever 
slain by the power of the grace of God? Now how was 
this done? Only by bringing this sin fully into the light of 
the gospel, and showing the individual the relation which 
the death of Christ sustained to that sin. 

Nothing is wanting to slay any and every form of sin, but 
for the mind to be fully baptized into the death of Christ, 
and to see the bearings of one's own sins upon the sufferings, 
and agonies, and death of the blessed Jesus. Let me state a 
fact to illustrate my meaning. A habitual and most invete- 
rate smoker of tobacco, of my acquaintance, after having been 
plied with almost every argument to induce him to break the 
power of the habit and relinquish its use in vain, on a certain 
occasion lighted his pipe, and was about to put it to his 
mouth, when the inquiry was started, did Christ die to pur- 



228 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

chase this vile indulgence for me? The perceived relation 
of the death of Christ to this sin instantly broke the power 
of the habit, and from that day he has been free. 

I could relate many other facts more striking than this, 
where a similar view of the relation of a particular sin to the 
atonement of Christ, has in a moment, not only broken the 
power of the habit, but destroyed entirely and forever, the 
appetite for similar indulgences. And in multitudes of cases 
when the appetite has not been entirely slain, the will has 
been endowed with abundant and abiding efficiency effectu- 
ally to control it. 

If the most inveterate habits of sin, and even those that 
involve physical consequences, and have deeply debased the 
physical constitution, and rendered it a source of overpower- 
ing temptation to the mind, can be, and often have been ut- 
terly broken up, and forever slain by the grace of God, why 
should it be doubted that by the same grace, a man can tri- 
umph over all sin, and that for ever. 

19. If this doctrine is not true, what is true upon the sub- 
ject? It is certainly of great importance that ministers 
should be definite in their instructions, and if Christians are 
not expected to be wholly conformed to the will of God in 
this life, how much is expected of them? Who can say, 
hitherto canst thou, must thou come, but no farther? It is 
certainly absurd, not to say ridiculous, for ministers to be for- 
ever pressing Christians up to higher and higher attainments, 
saying at every step you can and must go higher, and yet all 
along informing them that they are expected to fall short of 
their whole duty — that they can as a matter of fact, be bet- 
ter than they are, far better, indefinitely better; but still it 
is not expected that they will do their whole duty. I have 
often been pained to hear men preach who are afraid to 
commit themselves in favor of the whole truth; and who are 
yet evidently afraid of falling short, in their instructions, of 
insisting that men shall stand "perfect and complete in all 
the will of God." They are evidently sadly perplexed to be 
consistent, and well they may be, for in truth there is no con- 
sistency in their views and teachings. If they do not incul- 
cate as a matter of fact, that men ought to do and are ex- 
pected to do their whole duty, they are sadly at a loss to 
know what to inculcate. They have evidently many mis- 
givings about insisting upon less than this, and still they fear 
to go to the full extent of apostolic teaching on this subject. 
And in their attempts to throw in qualifying terms and cave- 



SANCTIFICATION. 



229 



rits, to avoid the impression that they believe in the doctrine 
of entire sanctification, they place themselves in a truly awk- 
ward position. Cases have occurred in which ministers have 
been asked, how far we may go, must go, and are expected 
to go, in dependence upon the grace of Christ, and how holy 
men may be, and are expected to be, and must be, in this 
life. They could give no other answer to this, than that 
they can be a great deal better than they are. Now this in- 
definiteness is a great stumbling block to the Church. It 
cannot be according to the teachings of the Holy Ghost. 

20. The tendency of a denial of this doctrine is, to my 
mind, conclusive proof that the doctrine itself must be true. 
Many developments in the recent history of the Church 
throw light upon this subject. Who does not see that the 
facts developed in the temperance reformation, have a direct 
and powerful bearing upon this question? It has been ascer- 
tained that there is no possibility of completing the temper- 
ance reformation, except by adopting the principle of total 
abstinence from all intoxicating drinks. Let a temperance 
lecturer go forth as an Evangelist to promote revivals on 
the subject of temperance — let him inveigh against drunken- 
ness, while he admits and defends the moderate use of alco- 
hol, or insinuates, at least, that total abstinence is not expect- 
ed or practicable. In this stage of the temperance reforma- 
tion every one can see that such a man could make no pro- 
gress; that he would be employed like a child in building 
dams of sand to obstruct the rushing of mighty waters. It 
is as certain as that causes produce their effects, that no per- 
manent reformation could be effected without adopting and 
insisting on the total abstinence principle. 

And now if this is true as it respects the temperance refor- 
mation, how much more so when applied to the subjects of 
holiness and sin. A man might by some possibility, even in 
his own strength, overcome his habits of drunkenness, and 
retain what might be called the temperate use of alcohol. 
But no such thing is possible in a reformation from sin. There 
is no temperate indulgence in sin. Sin, as a matter of fact, 
is never overcome by any man in his own strength. If he 
admits into his creed the necessity of any degree of sin, or if 
he allows in practice any degree of sin, he becomes impeni- 
tent — consents to live in sin — and of course grieves the Holy 
Spirit, the certain result of which is a relapsing into a state 
of legal bondage to sin. And this is probably a true history 
of many professed christians in the Church. It is just what 
20 



230 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

might be expected from the views and practice of the Church 
upon this subject. 

The secret of backsliding is, that reformations are not car- 
ried deep enough. Christians are not set with all their hearts 
to aim at a speedy deliverance from all sin. But on the con- 
trary are left, and in many instances taught, to indulge the 
expectation that they shall sin as long as they live. I prob- 
ably never shall forget the effect produced on my mind by 
reading, when a young convert, in the diary of David Brai- 
nerd, that he never expected to make any considerable at- 
tainments in holiness in this life. I can now easily see that 
this was a natural inference from the theory of physical de- 
pravity which he held. But not perceiving this at the time, 
I doubt not that this expression of his views had a very inju- 
rious effect upon me for many years. It led me to reason 
thus: If such a man as David Brainerd did not expect to 
make much advancement in holiness in this life, it is vain for 
me to expect such a thing. 

The fact is, if there be any thing that is important to high 
attainments in holiness, and to the progress of the work of 
sanctification in this life, it. is the adoption of the principle 
of total abstinence from sin. Total abstinence from sin, 
must be every man's motto, or sin will certainly sweep him 
away as with a flood. That cannot possibly be a true prin- 
ciple in temperance, that leaves the causes which produce 
drunkenness to operate in their full strength. Nor can that 
be true in regard to holiness which leaves the root unextract- 
ed, and the certain causes of spiritual decline and backslid- 
ing at work in the very heart of the Church. And I am 
fully convinced that until Evangelists and Pastors adopt, and 
carry out in practice, the principle of total abstinence from 
all sin, they will as certainly find themselves, every few 
months, called to do their work over again, as a temperance 
lecturer would who should admit the moderate use of al- 
cohol. 

21. Again, the tendency of the opposite view of this sub- 
ject, shows that that cannot be true. Who does not know, 
that to call upon sinners to repent, and at the same time to 
inform them that they will not, and cannot, and are not ex- 
pected to repent, would for ever prevent their repentance. 
Suppose you say to a sinner, you are naturally able to repent; 
but it is certain that you never will repent in this life, either 
with or without the Holy Spirit. Who does not see that such 
teaching would as surely prevent his repentance as he believed 



SANCTIFICATION. 



231 



it? So, say to a professor of religion, you are naturally able 
to be wholly conformed to the will of God; but it is certain 
that you never will be in this life, either in your own strength 
or by the grace of God. If this teaching be believed, it will 
just as certainly prevent his sanctification as the other teach- 
ing would the repentance of the sinner. I can speak from 
experience on this subject While I inculcated the common 
views, I was often instrumental in bringing christians under 
great conviction, and into a state of temporary repentance 
and faith. But falling short of urging them up to a point 
where they would become so acquainted with Christ, as to 
abide in him, they would of course soon relapse again into 
their former state. I seldom saw, and can now understand 
that I had no reason to expect to see, under the instructions 
which I then gave, such a state of religious principle, such 
steady and confirmed walking with God among Christians, as 
I have seen since the change in my views and instructions. 



LECTURE LVIJI. 
SANCTIFICATION- 

Paul entirely Sanctified. 

I might urge a great many other considerations, and as- I 
have said, fill a book with scriptures, and arguments, and de- 
monstrations, of the attainability of entire sanctification in this 
life. 

But I forbear, and at present will present only one more 
consideration, a consideration which has great weight in some 
minds. It is a question of great importance, at least in some 
minds, whether any actually ever did attain this state. Some 
who believe it attainable, do not consider it of much impor- 
tance to show that it has actually been attained. Now I 
freely admit that it may be attainable, even if it never has 
been attained. Yet it appears to me that as a matter of en- 
couragement to the church, it is of great importance whether, 
as a matter of fact, a state of entire and continued holiness 
has been attained in this life. This question covers much 
ground. But for the sake of brevity, I design to examine 
but one case, and see whether there is not reason to believe 
that in one instance, at least it has been attained. The case 
to which I allude is that of the Apostle Paul. And I pro- 
pose to take up and examine the passages that speak of him r 
for the purpose of ascertaining whether there is evidence 
that he ever attained to this state in this life. 

And here let me say that to my own mind it seems plain, 
that Paul and: John, to say nothing of the other Apostles, 
designed and expected the church to understand them as 
speaking from experience, and as having received of that 
fulness which they taught to be in Christ and in his gospel. 

And I wish to say again and more expressly, that I do not 
rest the practicability of attaining a state of entire and con- 
tinued holiness at all upon the question, whether any ever 
have attained it any more than I would rest the question, 
whether the world ever will be converted, upon the fact 
whether it ever has been converted. I have been surprised, 



S A NOTIFICATION. 233 

when the fact that a state of entire holiness has been attain- 
ed, is urged as one argument among a great many to prove 
its attainability, and that too, merely as an encouragement 
to Christians to lay hold upon this blessing — that objectors 
and reviewers fasten upon this as the doctrine of sanctifica- 
tion, as if by calling this particular question into doubt, they 
could overthrow all the other proof of its attainability. Now 
this is utterly absurd. When, then, I examine the character 
of Paul with this object in view, if it should not appear clear 
to you that he did attain thi* state, you are not to overlook 
the fact, that its attainability is settled by other arguments, 
on grounds entirely independent of the question whether it 
has been attained or not; and that I merely use this as an 
argument, simply because to me it appears forcible, and fitted 
to afford great encouragement to Christians to press after 
this state. 

I will first make some remarks in regard to the manner in 
which the language of Paul, when speaking of himself, 
should be understood; and then proceed to an examination 
of the passages which speak of his christian character. 

1. His revealed character, demands that we should under- 
stand him to mean all that he says, when speaking in his own 
favor. 

2. The spirit of inspiration would guard him against speak- 
ing too highly of himself. 

3. No man ever seemed to possess greater modesty, and to 
feel more unwilling to exalt his own attainments. 

4. If he considered himself as not having attained a state 
of entire sanctification, and as often, if not in all things, fall- 
ing short of his duty, we may expect to find him acknowl- 
edging this in the deepest self-abasement. 

5. If he is charged with living in sin, and with being wick- 
ed in any thing, we may expect him, when speaking under 
inspiration, not to justify, but unequivocally to condemn him- 
self in those things if he was really guilty. 

Now in view of these facts, let'tts examine those scriptures 
in which he speaks of himself, and is spoken of by others. 

(1.) 1 Thess. 2: 10: ** Ye are witnesses, and God also, how 
holily, and justly, and unblamably, we behaved ourselves 
among you that believe." Upon this text I remark: 

[l.j Here he unqualifiedly asserts his own holiness. This 
language is very strong, "How holily, justly, and unblama- 
bly." If to be holy, just, and unblamable, be not entire 
sanctification, what is? 
20* 



234 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

[2.] He appeals to the heart-searching God for the truth 
of what he says, and to their own observation; calling on 
God and on them also to bear witness, that he had been holy 
and without blame. 

[3.] Here we have the testimony of an inspired Apostle, 
in the most unqualified language, asserting his own entire 
sanctification. Was he deceived? Can it be that he knew 
himself all the time to have been living in sin? If such lan- 
guage as this does not amount to an unqualified assertion that 
he had lived among them without sin, what can be known by 
the use of human language? 

(2.) 2 Cor. 6: 3 — 7: " Giving no offence in any thing, that 
the ministry be not blamed; but in all things approving our- 
selves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions 
in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in 
tumults, in labors, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by 
knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, 
by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of 
God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and 
on the left." Upon these verses I remark: 

Paul asserts that he gave no offence in any thing, but in 
all things approved himself as a minister of God. Among 
other things, he did this, " by pureness, by the Holy Ghost, 
by love unfeigned," and " by the armor of righteousness on 
the right hand and on the left." How could so modest a man 
as Paul speak of himself in this manner, unless he knew 
himself to be in a state of entire sanctification, and thought 
it of great importance that the church should know it? 

(3.) 2 Cor. 1: 12: "For our rejoicingis this, the testimony 
of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not 
with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had 
our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you- 
ward." This passage plainly implies the same thing, and 
was manifestly said for the same purpose — to declare the 
greatness of the grace of God as manifested in himself. 

(4.) Acts 24: 16: " And herein do I exercise myself to 
have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and 
toward men." Paul doubtless at this time had an enlightened 
conscience. If an inspired Apostle could affirm, that he 
" exercised himself to have always a conscience void of of- 
fence toward God and toward men," must he not have been 
in a state of entire sanctification? 

(5.) 2 Tim. 1:3: "I thank God, whom I serve from my fore- 



SANCTIFICATION. 235 

fathers with a pure conscience, that without ceasing I have 
remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day." Here 
again he affirms that he serves God with a pure conscience. 
Could this be, if he was often, and perhaps every day, as 
some suppose, violating his conscience? 

(6.) Gal. 2: 20: "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless 
I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which 
I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, 
who loved me, and gave himself for me." This does not as- 
sert, but strongly implies that he lived without sin, and also 
that he regarded himself as dead to sin in the sense of being 
permanently sanctified. 

(7.) Gal. 6: 14: u But God forbid that I should glory, save 
in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is 
crucified unto me, and I unto the world." This text also af- 
fords the same inference as above. 

(8.) Phil. 1 : 21 : * For to me to live is Christ, and to die is 
gain." Here the Apostle affirms that for him to live was as 
if Christ lived in the church, that is, by his doctrine illustra- 
ted by his life, it was as if Christ lived again and preached 
his own gospel to sinners and to the church; or for him to 
live was to make Christ known as if Christ lived to make 
himself known. How could he say this, unless his example, 
and doctrine, and spirit, were those of Christ? 

(9.) Acts 20: 26: M Wherefore I take you to record this 
day, that I am pure from the blood of all men." Upon this 
I remark: 

[1.] This passage, taken in its connection, shows clearly, 
the impression that Paul desired to make upon the minds of 
those to whom he spake. 

[2.] It is certain that he could in no proper sense be M pure 
from the blood of all men," unless he had done his whole du- 
ty. If he had been sinfully lacking in any grace, or virtue, 
or labor, could he have said this? Certainly not. 

(10.) 1 Cor. 2: 16, 17: " Wherefore, I beseech you, be ye 
followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timo- 
theus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who 
shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in 
Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church." I remark: 

[1.] Here Paul manifestly sets himself up as an example to 
the church. How could he do this if he were living in sin? 

[2.] He sent Timotheus to them to refresh their memories 
in regard to his doctrine and practice; implying that what he 
taught in every church, he himself practiced. 



236 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

(11.) 1 Cor. 11: 1: " Be ye followers of me, even as I 
also am of Christ." Here Paul commands them to follow 
him, " as he followed Christ;" not so far as he followed Christ, 
as some seem to understand it, but to follow him because he 
followed Christ. How could he in this unqualified manner, 
command the Church to copy his example, unless he knew 
himself to be blameless? 

(12.) Phil. 3: 47, 20: " Brethren, be followers together of 
me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an en- 
sample. For our conversation is in heaven, from whence we 
also look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Here 
again, Paul calls upon the Church to follow him, and partic- 
ularly to notice those that did copy his example, and assigns 
as the reason, " for our conversation is in heaven." 

(13.) Phil. 3: 9: " Those things, which ye have both learn- 
ed, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the 
God of peace shall be with you." The Phillipians were 
commanded to u do those things which they had learned, and 
received and seen in him." And then he adds, that if they 
61 do those things, the God of peace shall be with them." 
Now can it be that he meant that they should understand 
any thing less, than that he lived without sin among them? 

I will next examine those passages which are supposed by 
some to imply that Paul was not in a state of entire sanctifi- 
cation. 

(14.) Acts 15: 36 — 40: " And some days after, Paul said 
unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in ev- 
ery city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and 
see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with 
them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought 
not good to take him with them, who departed from them 
from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And 
the contention was so sharp between them, that they depart- 
ed asunder one from the other; and so Barnabas took Mark, 
and sailed to Cyprus: and Paul chose Silas, and departed 
being recommended by the brethren, unto the grace of God." 
Upon this passage I remark: 

[1.] This contention between Paul and Barnabas was 
founded upon the fact, that John, who was a nephew of Bar- 
nabas, had once abruptly left them in their travels, it would 
seem, without any justifiable reason, and had returned home. 

[2.] It appears that the confidence of Barnabas in his 
nephew was restored. 



SANCTIFICATION. 



237 



[3.] That Paul was not as yet satisfied of the stability of 
his character, and thought it dangerous to trust him as a trav- 
eling companion and fellow laborer. It is not intimated, nor 
can it fairly be inferred that either of them sinned in this con- 
tention. 

[4.] Being men of principle, neither of them felt it to be 
his duty to yield to the opinion of the other. 

[5.] If either was to be blamed, it seems that Barnabas 
was in fault, rather than Paul, inasmuch as he determined to 
take John with him without having consulted Paul. And he 
persisted in this determination until he met with such firm 
resistance on the part of Paul, that he took John and sailed 
abruptly for Cyprus; while Paul choosing Silas as his com- 
panion, was recommended by the brethren to the grace of 
God, and departed. Now certainly there is nothing in this 
transaction, that Paul or any good man, or an angel, under 
the circumstances, needs to have been ashamed of, that we 
can discover. It does not appear, that Paul ever acted more 
from a regard to the glory of God and the good of religion, 
than in this transaction. And I would humbly inquire what 
spirit is that which finds sufficient evidence in this case to 
charge an inspired Apostle with rebellion against God? But 
even admitting that he did sin in this case, where is the evi- 
dence that he was not afterwards sanctified when he wrote 
the epistle? — for this was before the writing of any of his 
epistles. 

(15.) Acts 23: 1 — 5: " And Paul, earnestly beholding the 
council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good con- 
science before God until this day. And the high priest Ana- 
nias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the 
mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou 
whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and 
commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they 
that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? Then said 
Paul, I wist not brethren that he was the high priest: for it 
is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy peo- 
ple." In this case sinful anger has been imputed to Paul; 
but so far as I can see, without any just reason. To my mind 
it seems plain, that the contrary is to be inferred. It appears 
that Paul was not personally acquainted with the then offici- 
ating high priest. And he manifested the utmost regard to 
the authority of God in quoting from the Old Testament, 
" Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people" — im- 
plying, that notwithstanding the abuse he had received, he 



238 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

should not have made the reply, had he known him to be the 
high priest. 

(16.) Rom. 7: from the fourteenth to the twenty-fifth verse, 
has by many been supposed to be an epitome of Paul's expe- 
rience at the time he wrote the epistle. Upon this I remark: 

[1.] The connection and drift of Paul's reasoning show 
that the case of which he was speaking, whether his own or 
the case of some one else, was adduced by him to illustrate 
the influence of the law upon the carnal mind. 

[2.] This is a case in which sin had the entire dominion, 
and overcame all his resolutions of obedience. 

[3.] That his use of the singular pronoun and in the first 
person, proves nothing in regard to the point whether or not 
he was speaking of himself, for this is common with him, and 
with other writers, when using illustrations. 

[4.] He keeps up the personal pronoun and passes into the 
eighth chapter; at the beginning of which, he represents him- 
self or the person of whom he is speaking, as being not only 
in a different but in an exactly opposite state of mind. Now 
if the seventh chapter contains Pauls' experience, whose ex- 
perience is this in the eighth chapter? Are we to understand 
them both as the experience of Paul? If so, we must under- 
stand him as first speaking of his experience before and then 
after he was sanctified. He begins the eighth chapter by 
saying, u There is now no condemnation to them who are in 
Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spir- 
it;" and assigns as a reason, that tt The law of the Spirit of 
life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and 
death." The law of sin and death was that law in his mem- 
bers, or the influence of the flesh, of which he had so bitter- 
ly complained in the seventh chapter. But now it appears 
that he has passed into a state in which he is made free from 
this influence of the flesh — is emancipated and dead to the 
world, and to the flesh, and in a state in which " there is no 
condemnation." Now if there was no condemnation in the 
state in which he was, it must have been, either because he did 
not sin; or, if he did sin, because the law did not condemn 
him; or because the law of God was repealed or abrogated. 
Now if the penalty of the law was so set aside in his case, 
that he could sin without condemnation, this is a real abroga- 
tion of the law. For a law without a penalty is no law, and 
if the law is set aside, there is no longer any standard, and 
he was neither sinful nor holy. But as the law was not and 
could not be set aside, its penalty was not and could not be so 



SANCTIFICATION. 239 

abrogated as not to condemn every sin. If Paul lived with- 
out condemnation, it must be because he lived without sin. 

To me it does not appear as if Paul speaks of his own ex- 
perience in the seventh chapter of Romans, but that he 
merely supposes a case by way of illustration, and speaks in 
the first person and in the present tense, simply because it 
was convenient and suitable to his purpose. His object mani- 
festly was, in this and in the beginning of the eighth chapter, 
to contrast the influence of the law and of the gospel — to 
describe in the seventh chapter the state of a man who was 
living in sin, and every day condemned by the law, convicted 
and constantly struggling with his own corruptions, but con- 
tinually overcome, — and in the eighth chapter to exhibit a 
person in the enjoyment of gospel liberty, where the right- 
eousness of the law was fulfilled in the heart by the grace of 
Christ. The seventh chapter may well apply either to a per- 
son in a backslidden state, or to a convicted person who had 
never been converted. The eighth chapter can clearly be 
applicable to none but to those who are in a state of entire 
sanctification. 

I have already said that the seventh chapter contains the 
history of one over whom sin has dominion. Now to suppose 
that this was the experience of Paul when he wrote the epis- 
tle, or of any one who was in the liberty of the gospel, is 
absurd and contrary to the experience of every person who 
ever enjoyed gospel liberty. And farther, this is as expressly 
contradicted in the sixth chapter as it can be. As I said, the 
seventh chapter exhibits one over whom sin has dominion; 
but God says, in the sixth chapter and fourteenth verse, " For 
sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under 
the law, but under grace." 

I remark finally upon this passage, that if Paul was speak- 
ing of himself in the seventh chapter of Romans, and really 
giving a history of his own experience, it proves nothing at 
all in regard to his subsequent sanctification: for, 

[1.] If this was his experience at the time he wrote the 
epistle, it would prove nothing in regard to what afterwards 
occurred in his own experience. 

[2.] The eighth chapter shows conclusively, that it was 
not his experience at the time he wrote the epistle. The 
fact that the 7th and 8th chapters have been separated since 
the translation was made, as I have before said, has led to 
much error in the understanding of this passage. Nothing 
is more certain than that the two chapters were designed to 



240 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

describe not only different experiences, but experiences oppo- 
site to each other. And that both these experiences should 
belong to the same person at the same time, is manifestly im- 
possible. If therefore Paul is speaking in this connection of 
his own experience, we are bound to understand the eighth 
chapter as describing his experience at the time he wrote the 
epistle; and the seventh chapter as descriptive of a former 
experience. 

Now therefore, if any one understands the seventh chapter 
as describing a christian experience, he must understand it as 
giving the exercises of one in a very imperfect state; and the 
eighth chapter as descriptive of a soul in a state of entire 
sanctification. So that this epistle, instead of militating 
against the idea of Paul's entire sanctification, upon the sup- 
position that he was speaking of himself, fully establishes 
the fact that he was in that state. What do those brethren 
mean who take the latter part of the seventh chapter as en- 
tirely disconnected with what precedes and follows it, and 
make it tell a sad story on the subject of the legal and sinful 
bondage of an inspired Apostle? What can not be proved 
from the Bible in this way? Is it not a sound and indispen- 
sable rule of biblical interpretation, that a passage is to be 
taken in its connection, and that the scope and leading inten- 
tion of the writer is to be continually borne in mind in decid- 
ing upon the meaning of any passage? Why then, I pray, 
are the verses that precede, and those that immediately fol- 
low in the eighth chapter, entirely overlooked in the exami- 
nation of this important passage? 

(17.) Phil. 3: 10—15: "That I may know him, and the 
power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffer- 
ings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any 
means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not 
as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: 
but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which 
also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count 
not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do y 
forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth 
unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark 
for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let 
us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if 
in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even 
this unto you." Upon this passage I remark: 

[1.] Here is a plain allusion to the Olympic games, in 
which men ran for a prize, and were not crowned until the 
end of the race, however well they might run. 



3ANCTIFICATI0N. 



241 



[2.] Paul speaks of two kinds of perfection here, one of 
which he claims to have attained, and the other he had not. 
The perfection which he had not attained, was that which he 
did not expect to attain until the end of his race, nor indeed 
until he had attained the resurrection from the dead. Until 
then he was not and did not expect to be perfect, in the sense 
that he should u apprehend all that for which he was appre- 
hended of Christ Jesus." But all this docs not imply that 
he was not living without sin, any more than it implies that 
Christ was living in sin when he said, U I must walk to-day 
and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." 
Here Christ speaks of a perfection which he had not attained. 

Now it is manifest that it was the glorified state to which 
Paul had not attained, and which perfection he was pressing 
after. But in the fifteenth verse, he speaks of another kind 
of perfection which he professed to have attained. "Let us 
therefore," he says, u as many as be perfect, be thus minded;" 
that is, let us be pressing after this high state of perfection in 
glory, - if by any means we may attain unto the resurrection 
of the dead." The figure of the games should be kept con- 
tinually in mind in the interpretation of this passage. The 
prize in those races was the crown. This was given only at 
the end of the race. And besides, a man was " not crowned 
except he ran lawfully," that is, according to rule. Paul was 
running for the prize, that is, the crown, not as some suppose, 
for entire sanctification, but for a crown of glory. This he 
did not expect until he had completed his race. He exhorts 
those who were perfect, that is, those who were running law- 
fully or according to rule, to forget the things that were be- 
hind, and press to the mark, that is, the goal, for the prize, 
or the crown of glory which the Lord, the righteous judge, 
who was witnessing his race to award the crown to the vic- 
or, would give him at that day. 

Now it is manifest to my mind, that Paul does not in this 
passage, teach expressly or impliedly that he was living in 
sin, but the direct opposite — that he meant to say as he had 
said in many other places, that he was unblamable in respect 
to sin, but that he was aspiring after higher attainments, and 
meant to be satisfied with nothing short of eternal glory. 

Again Phil. 4: 11 — 13: "Not that I speak in respect of 
want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, there- 
with to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know 
how to abound: every where, and in all things, I am instruct- 
ed, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to 
21 



242 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which 
strengtheneth me." Here Paul undoubtedly meant to affirm, 
not merely his abstract ability to do all his duty, but that he 
had learned by experience that as a matter of fact and reali- 
ty he found himself able to do all things required of him. 
In relation to the character of Paul, let me say: 

a. If Paul was not sinless, he was an extravagant boaster, 
and such language used by any minister in these days would 
be considered as the language of an extravagant boaster. 

b. This setting himself up as an example so frequently 
and fully, without any caution or qualification, was highly 
dangerous to the interests of the Church, if he was not in a 
state of entire sanctification. 

c. It was as wicked as it was dangerous. 

d. His language in appealing to God, that in life and heart 
he was blameless, was blasphemous, unless he was really 
what he professed to be; and if he was what he professed to 
be, he was in a state of entire sanctification. 

e. There is no reason for doubting his having attained this 
state. 

f. It is doing dishonor to God, to maintain, under these 
circumstances, that Paul had not attained the blessing of 
entire sanctification, 

g. He no where confesses sin after he became an Apostle, 
but invariably justifies himself, appealing to man and to God, 
for his entire integrity and blamelessness of heart and life. 

h. To accuse him of sin in these circumstances, without 
evidence, is not only highly injurious to him, but disgraceful 
to the cause of religion. 

i. To charge him with sin, when he claims to have been 
blameless, is either to accuse him of falsehood or delusion. 

j. To maintain the sinfulness of this Apostle, is to deny 
the grace of the gospel, and charge God foolishly. And I 
can not but inquire, why is this great effort in the Church to 
maintain that Paul lived in sin, and was never wholly sancti- 
fied till death? 

Two things have appeared wonderful to me: 

1. That so many professed christians should seem to think 
themselves highly honoring God in extending the claims of 
the law, and yet denying that the grace of the gospel is 
equal to the demands of the law. 

2. That so many persons seem to have an entirely self- 
righteous view of the subject of sanctification. With respect 
to the first of these opinions, much pains has been taken to 



SANCTIFICATION. 



243 



extend to the utmost the claims of the law of God. Much 
has been said of its exceeding and infinite strictness, and the 
great length, and breadth, and height, and depth of its 
claims. Multitudes are engaged in defending the claims of 
the law. as if they greatly feared that the purity of the law 
would be defiled — its strictness and spirituality overlooked — 
and its high and holy claims set aside, or frittered down 
somehow to the level of human passion and selfishness. And 
while engaged in their zeal to defend the law, they talk, and 
preach, and write, as if they supposed it indispensable in 
order to sustain the high claims of the law, to deny the grace 
and power of the gospel, and its sufficiency to enable human 
beings to comply with the requisitions of the law. Thus 
they seem to me, unwittingly, to enter the lists against the 
grace of Christ, and with the utmost earnestness and even 
vehemence, to deny that the grace of Christ is sufficient to 
overcome sin, and to fulfill in us the righteousness of the 
law. And in their zeal for the law, they appear to me either 
to overlook, or flatly to deny the grace of the gospel. 

Now let the law be exalted. Let it be magnified and 
made honorable. Let it be shown to be strict, and pure, and 
perfect, as its Author — spread its claims over the whole field 
of human and angelic accountability — carry it like a blaze 
of fire to the deepest recess of every human heart. Exalt 
it as high as heaven. And thunder its authority and claims 
to the depths of hell. Stretch out its line upon the universe 
of mind. And let it, as it well may, and as it ought, thun- 
der death and terrible damnation against every kind and 
degree of iniquity. Yet let it be remembered forever, that 
the grace of the gospel, is co-extensive with the claims of 
the law. Let no man, therefore, in his strife to maintain 
the authority of the law, insult the Savior, exercise unbelief 
himself, or fritter away and drown the faith of the Church, 
by holding out the profane idea, that the glorious gospel of 
the blessed God — sent home and rendered powerful by the 
efficacious application of the Holy Spirit, is not sufficient to 
fulfill in us u the righteousness of the law," and cause us u to 
stand perfect and complete in all the will of God." 

With respect to the second thing which appears wonderful 
to me, namely, that so many seem to have an entirely self- 
righteous view of the doctrine of sanctification, let me say, 
that they seem afraid to admit that any are entirely and per- 
fectly sanctified in this life, lest they should flatter human 
pride, seeming to take it for granted that if any are entirely 



44 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

sanctified, they have whereof to glory, as if they had done 
something, and were in themselves better than others. 
Whereas, the doctrine of entire sanctification utterly abhors 
the idea of human merit, disclaims and repudiates it as alto- 
gether an abomination to God and to the sanctified soul. 
This doctrine, as taught in the Bible, and as I understand it, 
is as far as possible from conniving in the least degree at the 
idea of any thing naturally good in saints or sinners. It as- 
cribes the whole of salvation and sanctification from first to 
last, not only till the soul is sanctified, but at every moment 
while it remains in that state, to the indwelling Spirit, and 
influence, and grace of Christ. 



LECTURE LIX. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

VI. Point out the conditions of this attainment. 

1. A state of entire sanctification can never be attained 
by an indifferent waiting of God's time. 

2. Nor by any works of law, or works of any kind per- 
formed in your own strength, irrespective of the grace of 
God. By this I do not mean that, were you disposed to ex- 
ert your natural powers aright, you could not at once obey 
the law in the exercise of your natural strength, and continue 
to do so. But I do mean, that as you are wholly indisposed 
to use your natural powers aright without the grace of God, 
no efforts that you will actually make in your own strength or 
independent of his grace, will ever result in your entire sanc- 
tification. 

3. Not by any direct efforts to feel right. Many spend 
their time in vain efforts to force themselves into a right state 
of feeling. Now it should be for ever understood, that reli- 
gion does not consist in a mere feeling, emotion, or involun- 
tary affection of any kind. Feelings do not result from a di- 
rect effort to feel. But on the contrary, they are the sponta- 
neous actings of the mind when it has under its direct and 
deep consideration the objects, truths, facts, or realities that 
are correlated to these involuntary emotions. They are the 
most easy and natural state of mind possible under such cir- 
cumstances. So far from its requiring an effort to put them 
forth, it would rather require an effort to prevent them, when 
the mind is intensely considering those objects and considera- 
tions which have a natural tendency to produce them. This 
is so true that when persons are in the exercise of such af- 
fections, they feel no difficulty at all in their exercise, but 
wonder how any one can help feeling as they do. It seems 
to them so natural, so easy, and I may say, so almost unavoida- 
bly, that they often feel and express astonishment that any 
one should find it difficult to exercise the feelings of which 
they are conscious. The course that many persons take on 
the subject of religion has often appeared wonderful to me. 

21* 



246 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

They make themselves, their own state and interests, the 
central point, around which their own minds are continually 
revolving. Their selfishness is so great, that their own inter- 
ests, happiness, and salvation, fill their whole field of vision. 
And with their thoughts and anxieties, and whole souls clus- 
tering around their own salvation, they complain of a hard 
heart — that they cannot love God — that they do not repent 
and cannot believe. They manifestly regard love to God, 
repentance, faith and all religion as consisting in mere feel- 
ings. Being conscious that they do not feel light, as they 
express it, they are the more concerned about themselves, 
which concern but increases their embarrassment and the 
difficulty of exercising what they call right affections. 
The less they feel, the more they try to feel — the greater ef- 
forts they make to feel right without success, the more are 
they confirmed in their selfishness, and the more are their 
thoughts glued to their own interests; and they are of course 
at a greater and greater distance from any right state of 
mind. And thus their selfish anxieties beget ineffectual ef- 
forts, and these efforts but deepen their anxieties. And if in 
this state, death should appear in a visible form before them, 
or the last trumpet sound, and they should be summoned to 
the solemn Judgment, it would but increase their distraction, 
confirm and almost give omnipotence to their selfishness, and 
render their sanctification morally impossible. It should 
never be forgotten that all true religion consists in voluntary 
states of mind, and that the true and only way to attain to 
true religion is to look at and understand the exact thing to 
be done, and then to put forth at once the voluntary exer- 
cise required. 

4. Not by any efforts to obtain grace by works of law. 
In my lecture on Faith, in the first volume of the Evangelist, 
I said the following things: 

(1.) Should the question be proposed to a Jew, u What 
shall I do that I may work the work of God ?" — he would an- 
swer, keep the law, both moral and ceremonial, that is, keep 
the commandments. 

(2.) To the same inquiry an Arminian would answer, Im- 
prove common grace, and you will obtain converting grace, 
that is, use the means of grace according to the best light 
vou have, and you will obtain the grace of salvation. In 
this answer it is not supposed, that the inquirer already has 
faith; but that he is in a state of unbelief, and is inquiring 
after converting grace. The answer, therefore, amounts to 



SANCTIFICATION. 247 

this ; you must get converting grace by your impenitent works ; 
you must become holy by your hypocrisy; you must work out 
sanctification by sin. 

(3.) To this question, most professed Calvinists would 
make in substance the same reply. They would reject the 
language, while they retained the idea. Their direction 
would imply, either that the inquirer already has faith, or 
that he must perform some works to obtain it, that is, that 
he must obtain grace by works of law. 

A late Calvinistic writer admits that entire and permanent 
sanctification is attainable, although he rejects the idea of 
the actual attainment of such a state in this life. He suppo- 
ses the condition of attaining this state or the way to attain 
it, is by a diligent use of the means of grace and that the 
saints are sanctified just so far as they make a diligent use 
of the means of sanctification. But as he denies that any 
saints ever did or will use all the means with suitable dili- 
gence, he denies also of course that entire sanctification 
ever is attained in this life. The way of attaining it accord- 
ing to his teaching is by the diligent use of means. If then 
this writer were asked u what shall I do that I may work the 
works of God," — or in other words, what shall I do to obtain 
entire and permanent sanctification, his answer, it seems, 
would be: " Use diligently all the means of grace," that is, 
you must get grace by works, or, with the Arminian, improve 
common grace and you will secure sanctifying grace. 

Neither an Arminian, nor a Calvinist would formally di- 
rect the inquirer to the law, as the ground of Justification. 
But nearly the whole Church would give directions that would 
amount to the same thing. Their answer would be a legal, 
and not a gospel answer. For whatever answer is given to 
this question, that does not distinctly recognize faith, as the 
condition of abiding holiness in christians, is legal. Unless 
the inquirer is made to understand, that this is the first, grand, 
fundamental duty, without the performance of which all vir- 
tue, all giving up of sin, all acceptable obedience, is impossi- 
ble, he is misdirected. He is led to believe that it is possible 
to please God without faith, and to obtain grace by works of 
law. There are but two kinds of works — works of law, and 
works of faith. Now if the inquirer has not the " faith that 
works by love," to set him upon any course of works to get it, 
is certainly to set him to get faith by works of law. Whatever 
is said to him that does not clearly convey the truth, that 
both justification and sanctification are by faith, without 



248 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

works of law, is law, and not gospel. Nothing before or 
without faith, can possibly be done by any one, but works of 
law. His first duty, therefore, is faith; and every attempt to 
obtain faith by unbelieving works, is to lay works at the 
foundation, and make grace a result. It is the direct oppo- 
site of gospel truth. 

Take facts as they arise in every day's experience, to show 
that what I have stated is true of almost all professors and 
non-professors. Whenever a sinner begins in good earnest 
to agitate the question, "What shall I do to be saved?" he 
resolves as a first duty, to break off from his sins, that is, in 
unbelief. Of course, his reformation is only outward. He 
determines to do better — to reform in this, that, and the other 
thing, and thus prepare himself to be converted. He does 
not expect to be saved without grace and faith, but he at- 
tempts to get grace by works of law. 

The same is true of multitudes of anxious Christians, who 
are inquiring what they shall do to overcome the world, the 
Hesh and the devil. They overlook the fact, that "this is the 
victory that overcometh the world, even our faith," that it is 
with fc, the shield of faith" that they are " to quench all the 
fiery darts of the wicked." They ask, Why am I overcome 
by sin? Why can I not get above its power? Why am 1 
thus the slave of my appetites and passions, and the] sport 
of the devil? They cast about for the cause of all this spir- 
itual wretchedness and death. At one time, they think they 
have discovered it in the neglect of one duty; and at anoth- 
er time in the neglect of another. Sometimes they imagine 
they have found the cause to lie in yielding to one sin, and 
sometimes in yielding to another. They put forth efforts in 
this direction, and in that direction, and patch up their right- 
eousness on one side, while they make a rent in the other 
side. Thus they spend years in running around in a circle, 
and making dams of sand across the current of their own 
habitudes and tendencies. Instead of at once purifying their 
hearts by faith, they are engaged in trying to arrest the over- 
flowing of the bitter waters of their own propensities. Why 
do I sin? they inquire; and casting about for the cause, they 
come to the sage conclusion, It is because I neglect such a 
duty, that is, because I do sin. But how shall I get rid 
of sin? Answer: by doing my duty, that is by ceasing from 
sin. Now the real inquiry is, Why do they neglect their duty? 
Why do they commit sin at all? Where is the foundation of 
all this mischief? Will it be replied, the foundation of all 



SANCTIFICATION. 



249 



this wickedness is in the force of temptation — in the weak- 
ness of our hearts — in the strength of our evil propensities 
and habits? But all this only brings us back to the real in- 
quiry again, How are these things to be overcome? I answer, 
by faith alone. No works of law have the least tendency to 
overcome our sins; but rather to confirm the soul in self-right- 
eousness and unbelief. 

The great and fundamental sin, which is at the foundation 
of all other sin, is unbelief. The first thing is, to give up 
that — to believe the word of God. There is no breaking otF 
from one sin without this. "Whatsoever is not of faith is 
sin.*' " Without faith it is impossible to please God.** 

Thus we see, that the backslider and convicted sinner, 
when agonizing to overcome sin, will almost always betake 
themselves to works of law to obtain faith. They will fast, 
and pray, and read, and struggle, and outwardly reform, and 
thus endeavor to obtain grace. Now all this is in vain and 
wrong. Do you ask, shall we not fast, and pray, and read, 
and struggle? Shall we do nothing — but sit down in Anti- 
nomian security and inaction? i answer, You must do all 
that God commands you to do: but begin where he tells you 
to begin, and do it in the manner in which he commands 
you to do it; that is, in the exercise of that faith that works 
by love. Purify your hearts by faith. Believe in the Son of 
God. And, say not in your heart, "Who shall ascend 
into heaven, that is, to bring Christ down from above; or who 
shall descend into the deep, that is, to bring up Christ again 
from the dead. But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, 
even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that is, the word of faith 
which we preach.*' 

Now these facts show, that even under the gospel, almost 
all professors of religion, while they reject the Jewish notion 
of justification by works of law, have after all adopted a 
ruinous substitute for it, and suppose that, in some way they 
are to obtain grace by their works. 

5. A state of entire sanctification cannot be attained by 
attempting to copy the experience of others. It is very com- 
mon for convicted sinners, or for Christians inquiring after 
entire sanctification, in their blindness, to ask others to re- 
late their experience, to mark minutely the detail of all their 
exercises, and then set themselves to pray for and make di- 
rect efforts to attain the same class of exercises — not seem- 
ing to understand that they can no more exercise feelings in 
the detail like others, than they can look like others. Hu- 



250 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

man experiences differ as human countenances differ. The 
whole history of a man's former state of mind, comes in of 
course to modify his present and future experience. So that 
the precise train of feelings which may be requisite in your 
case, and which will actually occur, if you are ever sancti- 
fied, will not in all its details, coincide with the exercises of 
any other human being. It is of vast importance for you to 
understand, that you can be no copyist in any true religious 
experience: and that you are in great danger of being de- 
ceived by Satan, whenever you attempt to copy the experi- 
ence of others. I beseech you, therefore, to cease from pray- 
ing for or trying to obtain the precise experience of any per- 
son, whatever. All truly christian experiences are, like hu- 
man countenances, in their outline so much alike as to be 
readily known as the lineaments of the religion of Jesus 
Christ. But no farther than this are they alike, any more 
than human countenances are alike. 

But here let it be remembered that sanctification does not 
consist in the various affections or emotions of which chris- 
tians speak, and which are often mistaken for or confounded 
with true religion; but that sanctification consists in entire 
consecration, and consequently it is all out of place for any- 
one to attempt to copy the feelings of another, inasmuch as 
feelings do not constitute religion. The feelings of which 
christians speak do not constitute true religion, but often re- 
sult from a ri^ht state of heart. These feelings may prop- 
erly enough be spoken of as Christian experience, for, al- 
though involuntary states of mind, they are experienced by 
true Christians. The only way to secure them is to set the 
will right, and the emotions will be a natural result. 

6. Not by waiting to make preparations before you come 
into this state. Observe that the thing about which you are 
inquiring is a state of entire consecration to God. Now do 
not imagine that this state of mind must be prefaced by a long 
introduction of preparatory exercises. It is common for per- 
sons when inquiring upon this subject with earnestness, to 
think themselveshindered in their progress by a want of this 
or that or the other exercise or state of mind. They look 
every where else but at the real difficulty. They assign any 
other and every other but the true reason for their not being 
already in a state of sanctification. The true difficulty is 
voluntary selfishness or voluntary consecration to self-interest 
and self-gratification. This is the difficulty and the only diffi- 
culty to be overcome. 



SANCTIFICATION. 251 

7. Not by attending meetings, asking the prayers of other 
christians, or depending in any way upon the means of get- 
ting into this state. By this I do not intend to say that means 
are unnecessary, or that it is not through the instrumentality 
of truth, that this state of mind is induced. But I do mean 
•that while you are depending upon any instrumentality what- 
ever, your mind is diverted from the real point before you, and 
you are never like to make this attainment. 

8. Not by waiting for any particular views of Christ. 
When persons, in the state of mind of which I have been 
speaking, hear those who live in faith describe their views of 
Christ, they say, O, if I had such views, I could believe; I 
must have these before I can believe. Now you should un- 
derstand that these views are the result and effect of faith in 
the promise of the Spirit to take of the things of Christ and 
show them to you. Lay hold of this class of promises, and 
the Holy Spirit will reveal Christ to you in the relations in 
which you need him from time to time. Take hold, then, 
on the simple promise of God. Take God at his word. Be- 
lieve that he means just what he says; and this will at once 
bring you into the state of mind after which you inquire. 

9. Not in any way which you may mark out for yourself. 
Persons in an inquiring state are very apt, without seeming 
to be aware of it, to send imagination on before them, to 
stake out the way, and set up a flag where they intend to 
come out. They expect to be thus and thus exercised — to 
have such and such peculiar views and feelings, when they 
have attained their object. Now there probably never was 
a person who did not find himself disappointed in these re- 
spects. God says, " I will bring the blind by a way that 
they know not. I will lead them in paths that they have not 
known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked 
things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not 
forsake them." This suffering your imagination to mark out 
your path is a great hindrance to you, as it sets you upon 
making many fruitless and worse than fruitless, attempts to 
attain this imaginary state of mind, wastes much of your 
time, and greatly wearies the patience and grieves the Spir- 
it of God. While he is trying to lead you right to the point, 
you are hauling off from the course, and insisting that this 
which your imagination has marked out is the way, instead 
of that in which he is trying to lead you. And thus in your 
pride and ignorance you are causing much delay, and abus- 
ing the long-suffering of God. He says, "This is the way, 



252 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, 

walk ye in it." But you say, no — this is the way. And thus 
you stand and parley and banter while you are every mo- 
ment in danger of grieving the Spirit of God away from 
you, and of losing your soul. 

10. Not in any manner, or at any time or place, upon 
which you may in your own mind lay any stress. If there is " 
any thing in your imagination that has fixed definitely upon 
any particular manner, time, or place, or circumstance, you 
will in all probability either be deceived by the devil, or be 
entirely disappointed in the result. You will find that in all 
these particular items on which you had laid any stress, that 
the wisdom of man is foolishness with God — that your ways 
are not his ways, nor your thoughts his thoughts. " For as 
the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways higher 
than your ways, and his thoughts higher than your thoughts." 

But, 

11. This state is to be attained by faith alone. Let it be 
forever remembered, that "without faith it is impossible to 
please God," and u whatsoever is not of faith, is sin." 

Both justification and sanctification are by faith alone. 
Rom, 3: 30; "Seeing it is one God who shall justify the cir- 
cumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith;" 
and 5: 1: "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace 
with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Also 9: 30, 31: 
"What shall we say then? that the Gentiles, who followed 
not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even 
the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, who followed 
after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of 
righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by 
faith, but, as it were, by the works of the law." 

12. But let me by no means be understood as teaching 
sanctification by faith as dislinct from and opposed to sancti- 
fication by the Holy Spirit or Spirit of Christ, or, which is 
the same thing, by Christ our sanctification, living and reign- 
ing in the heart. Faith is rather the instrument or condition 
than the efficient agent that induces a state of present and 
permanent sanctification. Faith simply receives Christ, as 
long, to live and reign in the soul. It is Christ in the exer- 
cise of his different offices and appropriated in his different 
relations to the wants of the soul, by faith, who secures our 
sanctification. This he does by Divine discoveries to the soul 
of his Divine perfections and fulness. The condition of 
these discoveries is faith and obedience. He says, Jno. 14: 
21 — 23, — "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth 



SANCTIFICATION. 



253 



them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be 
loved of my father, and I will love him, and will manifest 
myself to him. Judas saith unto him, (not Iscariot) Lord, 
how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto 
the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man 
love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love 
him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with 
him." But I must call your attention to Christ as our sancti- 
fication more at large hereafter. 



22 



LECTURE LX. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

VI. Conditions of entire Sanctification. — Continued. 

To ascertain the conditions of entire sanctification in this 
life we need to consider what the temptations are that over- 
come us. When first converted we have seen that the heart 
or will consecrates itself and the whole being to God. We 
have also seen that this is a state of disinterested benevolence 
or a committal of the whole being to the promotion of the 
highest good of being. We have also seen that all sin is 
selfishness, or that all sin consists in the will's seeking the in- 
dulgence or gratification of self; that it consists in the will's 
yielding obedience to the propensities instead of obeying 
God, as his law is revealed in the reason. Now who can 
not see what needs to be done to break the power of tempta- 
tion and let the soul go free? The fact is that the depart- 
ment of our sensibility that is related to objects of time and 
sense has received an enormous development and is tremb- 
lingly alive to all its correlated objects, while by reason of 
the blindness of the mind to spiritual objects, it is scarcely 
developed at all in its relations to them. Those objects are 
seldom thought of by the carnal mind, and when they are, 
they are only thought of. They are not clearly seen, and of 
course they are notielt. 

The thought of God, of Christ, of sin, of holiness, of 
heaven, and hell, excites little or no emotion in the carnal 
mind. The carnal mind is alive and awake to earthly and 
sensible objects, but dead to spiritual realities. The spiritu- 
al world needs to be revealed to the soul. The soul needs 
to see and clearly apprehend its own spiritual condition, re- 
lations, wants. It needs to become acquainted with God 
and Christ, to have spiritual and eternal realities made plain, 
and present, and all-absorbing realities to the soul. It needs 
such discoveries of the eternal world, of the nature and guilt 
of sin, and of Christ, the Remedy of the soul, as to kill or 
greatly mortify lust, or the appetites and passions in their rela- 
tions to objects of time and sense, and to thoroughly develope 



S A NOTIFICATION. 255 

the sensibility in its relations to sin and to God, and to the 
whole circle of spiritual realities. This will greatly abate 
the frequency and power of temptation to self-gratification, 
and break up the voluntary slavery of the will. The devel- 
opments of the sensibility need to be thoroughly corrected. 
This can only be done by the revelation by the Holy Spirit, 
to the inward man. of those great and solemn and overpow- 
ering realities of the '- spirit land,*' that lie concealed from 
the eye of flesh. 

We often see those around us whose sensibility is so de- 
veloped in some one or more directions, that they are led 
captive by appetite and passion in that direction in spite of 
reason and of God. The inebriate is an example of this. 
The glutton, the licentious, the avaricious man, &c, are ex- 
amples of this kind. We sometimes, on the other hand, sec 
by some striking providence such a counter development of 
the sensibility produced as to slay and put down those par- 
ticular tendencies, and the whole direction of the man's life 
seems to be changed; and outwardly at least, it is so. From 
being a perfect slave to his appetite for strong drink, he can 
not without the utmost loathing and disgust so much as hear 
the name of his once loved beverage mentioned. From be- 
ing a most avaricious man he becomes deeply disgusted with 
wealth, and spurns and despises it. Now this has been ef- 
fected by a counter development of the sensibility, for in the 
case supposed religion has nothing to do with it. Religion 
does not consist in the states of the sensibility, nor in the 
will's being influenced by the sensibility; but sin consists 
in the will's being thus influenced. One great thing that 
needs to be done to confirm and settle the will in the attitude 
of entire consecration to God, is to bring about a counter de- 
velopment of the sensibility, so that it will not draw the 
will away from God. It needs to be mortified or cru- 
cified to the world, to objects of time and sense by so deep, 
and clear, and powerful a revelation of self to self and of 
Christ to the soul as to awaken and develop all its suscepti- 
bilities in their relations to him and to spiritual and divine 
realities. This can easily be done through and by the Holy 
Spirit who takes of the things of Christ and shows them to 
us. He so reveals Christ that the soul receives him to the 
throne of the heart and to reign throughout the whole being. 
When the will, the intellect, and the sensibility are yielded 
to him, he develops the intelligence and the sensibility by 
clear revelations of himself in all his offices and relations to 



256 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

the soul, confirms the will, mellows and chastens the sensibil- 
ity by these divine revelations to the intelligence. 

1. It is plain that men are naturally able to be entirely 
sanctified in the sense of rendering entire and continual obe- 
dience to God; for the ability is the condition of the obliga- 
tion to do so. But what is implied in ability to be as holy as 
God requires us to be? 

The ready and plain answer to this question is: 
(1.) The possession of the powers, and susceptibilities of 
moral agents. 

(2.) Sufficient knowledge or light to reveal to us the whole 
of duty. 

(3.) And also to reveal to us clearly the way and means 
of overcoming any and every difficulty or temptation that 
lies in our way. 

The first we all possess. The second we also possess, for 
nothing strictly is or can be duty that is not revealed or 
made known to us. The third is proffered to us upon con- 
dition that we receive the Holy Spirit who offers himself as 
an indwelling light and guide, and who is received by simple 
faith. 

The light and grace which we need and which it is the of- 
fice of the Holy Spirit to supply, respects mainly the follow- 
ing things: 

1. Knowledge of ourselves, our past sins, their nature, ag- 
gravation, guilt, and desert of dire damnation. 

2. Knowledge of our spiritual helplessness or weakness 
inconsequence of, 

(1.) The physical depravity of our natures. 
(2.) Of the strength of selfish habit. 

(3.) Because of the power of temptation from the world, 
the flesh, and Satan. 

3. We need the light of the Holy Spirit to teach us the 
character of God, the nature of his government, the purity of 
his law, the necessity and fact of atonement. 

4. To teach us our need of Christ in all his offices and 
relations governmental, spiritual, and mixed. 

5. We need the revelation of Christ to our souls in all 
these relations, and in such power as to induce in us that ap- 
propriating faith without which Christ is not and can not be 
our salvation. 

6. We need to know Christ, for example, in such relations 
as the following: 



SANCTIFICATION. 257 

(1.) As King, to set up his government and write hfs law 
in our hearts; to establish his kingdom within us; to sway 
his sceptre over our whole being. As king he must be spir- 
itually revealed and received. 

(2.) As our Mediator, to stand between the offended justice 
of God and our guilty souls, to bring about a reconciliation 
between our souls and God. As mediator he must be known 
and received. 

(3.) As our Advocate or Paraclatos, our next or best friend to 
plead our cause with the Father, our righteous and all pre- 
vailing advocate to secure the triumph of our cause at the 
bar of God. In this relation he must be apprehended and 
embraced. 

(4.) As our Redeemer, to redeem us from the curse of the 
law and from the power and dominion of sin: to pay the 
price demanded by public justice for our release and to over- 
come and break up forever our spiritual bondage. In this 
relation also we must know and appreciate him by faith. 

(5.) As our Justification, to procure our pardon and accep- 
tance with God. To know him and embrace him in this re- 
lation is indispensable to peace of mind and to release from 
the condemnation of the law. 

(6.) As our Judge, to pronounce sentence of acceptance, 
and to award to us the victor's crown. 

(7.) As the Repairer of the Breach, or as the one who 
makes good to the government of God our default, or in oth- 
er words, who, by his obedience unto death, rendered to the 
public justice of God a full governmental equivalent for the 
infliction of the penalty of the law upon us. 

(8.) As the Propitiation for our sins, to offer himself as apro- 
pitiatory or offering for our sins. The apprehension of Christ 
as making an atonement for our sins seems to be indispensa- 
ble to the entertaining of a healthy hope of eternal life. It 
certainly is not healthy for the soul to apprehend the mercy 
of God without regarding the conditions of its exercise. It 
does not sufficiently impress the soul with a sense of the jus- 
tice and holiness of God, with the guilt and desert of sin. 
It does not sufficiently awe the soul and humble it in the deep- 
est dust to regard God as extending pardon without regard to 
the sternness of his justice, as evinced in requiring that sin 
should be recognized in the universe as worthy of the wrath 
and curse of God, as a condition of its forgiveness. It is re- 
markable and well worthy of all consideration that those 
who deny the atonement make sin a comparative trifle, and 
22* 



258 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

seem'to regard God's benevolence or love as good nature 
rather than, as it is, "a consuming fire" to all the workers of 
iniquity. Nothing does or can produce that awe of God, that 
fear and holy dread of sin — that sense of self-abasement — 
that self-abasing, God-justifying, spirit that a thorough appre- 
hension of the atonement of Christ will do. Nothing like 
this can beget that spirit of self-renunciation, of cleaving to 
Christ, of taking refuge in his blood. In these relations 
Christ must be revealed to and apprehended and embraced 
by us as the condition of our entire sanctification. 

(9.) As the Surety of abetter than the first covenant, that 
is, as Surety of a gracious covenant founded on better prom- 
ises; as an underwriter or endorser of our obligation; as 
one who undertakes for us and pledges himself as our secu- 
rity to fulfil for and in us all the conditions of our salvation. 
To apprehend and appropriate Christ by faith in this relation 
is no doubt a condition of our entire sanctification. I should 
greatly delight to enlarge, and write a whole course of lec- 
tures on the offices and relations of Christ, the necessity of 
knowing and appropriating him in these relations as the con- 
dition of our entire, in the sense of continued sanctification. 
This would require a large volume at least. All that I can 
do is to merely suggest a skeleton outline of this subject in this 
place. 

(10.) We need to apprehend and appropriate Christ as dy- 
ing for our sins. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to thus re- 
veal his death in its relations to our individual sins, and as re- 
lated to our sins as individuals. The soul needs to apprehend 
Christ as crucified for us. It is one thing for the soul to re- 
gard the death of Christ merely as the death of a martyr, 
and an infinitely different thing, as every one knows who has 
had the experience, to apprehend his death as a real and ver- 
itable vicarious sacrifice for our sins, as being truly a substi- 
tute for our death. The soul needs to apprehend Christ as 
suffering on the cross for it, or as its substitute; so that it can 
say, that sacrifice is for me, that suffering and that death are 
for my sins. That Blessed Lamb is slain for my sins. If thus 
fully to apprehend and to appropriate Christ can not kill sin in 
us, what can? 

(11.) We also need to know Christ as risen for our justifi- 
cation. He arose and lives to procure our certain acquittal or 
our complete pardon and acceptance with God. That he 
lives and is our justification we need to know, to break the 
bondage of legal motives and to slay all selfish fear; to break 



SANCTIFICATION. 



259 



and destroy the power of temptation from this source. The 
clearly convinced soul is often tempted to despondency and 
unbelief, to despair of its own acceptance with God, and it 
would surely fall into the bondage of fear, were it not for the 
faith of Christ as a risen, living, justifying Savior. In this re- 
lation the soul needs clearly to apprehend and fully to appro- 
priate Christ in his completeness, as a condition of abiding in 
a state of disinterested consecration to God. 

(12.) We need also to have Christ revealed to us as bear- 
ing our griefs and as carrying our sorrows. The clear ap- 
prehension of Christ as being made sorrowful for us, and as 
bending under sorrows and griefs that in justice belonged to 
us, tends at once to render sin unspeakably odious and Christ 
infinitely precious to our souls. The idea of Christ our sub- 
stitute, needs to be thoroughly developed in our minds. And 
this relation of Christ needs to be so clearly revealed to us 
as to become an every where present reality to us. We need 
to have Christ so revealed as to so completely ravish and en- 
gross our affections, that we would sooner cut our own throats 
or suffer others to cut them than to sin against him. Is such 
a thing impossible? Indeed it is not. Is not the Holy Spirit 
able, and willing, and ready to thus reveal him upon condition 
of our asking it in faith? Surely he is. 

(13.) We also need to apprehend Christ as the one by 
whose stripes we are healed. We need to know him as re- 
lieving our pains and sufferings by his own, as preventing our 
death by his own, as sorrowing that we might eternally re- 
joice, as grieving that we might be unspeakably and eternal- 
ly glad, as dying in unspeakable agony that we might die in 
deep peace and in unspeakable triumph. 

(14.) " As being made sin for us" We need to apprehend 
him as being treated as a sinner and even as the chief of sin- 
ners on our account, or for us. This is the representation of 
scripture that Christ on our account was treated as if he were 
a sinner. He was made sin for us, that is, he was treated as 
a sinner or rather as being the representative or as it were 
the embodiment of sin for us. O! this the soul needs to ap- 
prehend — the holy Jesus treated as a sinner, and as if all 
sin were concentrated in him, on our account! We pro- 
cured this treatment of him. He consented to take our place 
in such a sense as to endure the cross, and the curse of the 
law, for us. When the soul apprehends this, it is ready to 
die with grief and love. O, how infinitely it loaths self under 



260 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

such an apprehension as this! In this relation he must not 
only be apprehended, but appropriated by, faith. 

(15.) We also need to apprehend the fact that " he was 
made sin for us that we might be make the righteousness of God 
in him-" that Christ was treated as a sinner that we might 
be treated as righteous; that we might also be made person- 
ally righteous by faith in him; that we might be made the 
righteousness of God in him; that we might inherit and be 
made partakers of God's righteousness as that righteousness 
exists and is revealed in Christ; that we might in and by 
him be made righteous as God is righteous. The soul needs 
to see that his being made sin for us, was in order that we 
might be made the righteousness of God in him. It needs 
to embrace and lay hold by faith upon that righteousness of 
God which is brought home to saints in Christ, through the 
atonement and indwelling Spirit. 

(16.) We also need him revealed to the soul as one upon 
whose shoulders is the government of the world; who ad- 
ministers the government moral and providential of this world 
for the protection, discipline and benefit of believers. This 
revelation has a most sin-subduing tendency. That all events 
are directly or indiretcly controlled by him who has so loved 
us as to die for us; that all things absolutely are designed for 
and will surely result in our good — these and such like 
considerations when revealed to the soul and made living 
realities by the Holy Spirit tend to kill selfishness and con- 
firm the love of God in the soul. 

(17.) We also need Christ revealed to the inward being as 
Head over all things to the church. All these relations are of 
no avail to our sanctification only in so far forth as they are 
directly and inwardly and personally revealed to the soul by 
the Holy Spirit. It is one thing to have thoughts and ideas 
and opinions concerning Christ, and an entirely different 
thing to know Christ as he is revealed by the Holy Spirit. 
All the relations of Christ imply corresponding necessities in 
us. When the Holy Spirit has revealed to us the necessity 
and Christ as exactly suited to fully meet that necessity, and 
urged his acceptance in that relation until we have appropri- 
ated him by faith, a great work is done. But until we are 
thus revealed to ourselves and Christ is thus revealed to us 
and accepted by us, nothing is done more than to store our 
heads with notions or opinions and theories, while our hearts 
are becoming more and more, at every moment, like an ada- 
mant stone. 






S A NOTIFICATION. 



261 



I have often feared that many professed christians knew 
Christ only after the flesh, that is, they have no other knowl- 
edge of Christ than what they obtain by reading and hear- 
ing about him without any special revelation of him to the 
inward being by the Holy Spirit. I do not wonder that such 
professors and ministers should be totally in the dark upon 
the subject of entire sanclification in this life. They re- 
gard sanctification as brought about by the formation of holy 
habits instead of resulting from the revelation of Christ to 
the soul in all his fulness and relations, and the soul's renun- 
ciation of self and appropriation of Christ in these relations. 
Christ is represented in the bible as the Head of the church. 
The church is represented as his body. He is to the church 
what the head is to the body. The head is the seat of the 
intelligence, the will, and in short, of the living soul. Con- 
sider what the body would be without the head, and you 
may understand what the church would be without Christ. 
But as the church would be without Christ, so each believer 
would be without Christ. But we need to have our necessi- 
ties in this respect clearly revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, 
and this relation of Christ made plain to our apprehension. 
The utter darkness of the human mind in regard to its own 
spiritual state and wants, and in regard to the relations and 
fulness of Christ, is truly wonderful. His relations as men- 
tioned in the bible are overlooked almost entirely until our 
wants are discovered. When these are made known and the 
soul begins in earnest to inquire after a remedy, it needs not 
inquire in vain. "Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend 
up to heaven? that is, to bring Christ down from above; or 
who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring Christ 
again from the dead. But what saith it? The word is nigh 
thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart." 

(18.) Christ as having all power or authority in heaven and 
earth, needs also to be revealed to the soul, and received by 
faith, to dwell in and rule over it. The corresponding want 
must of necessity be first known to the mind before it can 
apprehend and appropriate Christ by faith in this or any 
other relation. The soul needs to see and feel its weakness, 
its need of protection, of being defended, and watched over, 
and controlled. It needs to see this, and also the power of 
its spiritual enemies, its besetments, its dangers and its cer- 
tain ruin unless the Almighty One interpose in its behalf. 
It needs thus truly and deeply to know itself and then, to 
inspire it with confidence, it needs a revelation of Christ as 



2G2 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

God, as the Almighty God, to the soul, as one who possesses 
absolute and infinite power, and as presented to the soul to 
be accepted as its strength and as all it needs of power. 

O how infinitely blind he is to the fulness and glory of 
Christ who does not know himself and know Christ as both 
are revealed by the Holy Spirit. When we arc led by the 
Holy Spirit to look down into the abyss of our own empti- 
ness — to behold the horrible pit and miry clay of our own 
habits, and fleshly, and worldly, and infernal entanglements: 
when we see in the light of God that our emptiness and ne- 
cessities are infinite; then, and not till then, are we prepared 
wholly to cast off self and to put on Christ. The glory and 
fulness of Christ are not discovered to the soul until it dis- 
covers its need v of him. But when self, in all its loathsome- 
ness and helplessness, is fully revealed, until hope is utterly 
extinct as it respects every kind and degree of help in our- 
selves: and when Christ, the all and in all, is revealed to the 
soul as its all-sufficient portion and salvation, then, and not 
until then does the soul know its salvation. This knowledge 
is the indispensable condition of appropriating faith, or of 
that act of receiving Christ or that committal of all to him 
that takes Christ home to dwell in the heart by faith and to 
preside over all its states and actions. O, such a knowledge 
and such a reception and putting on of Christ is blessed. 
Happy is he who knows it by his own experience. 

It is indispensable to a steady and implicit faith that the 
soul should have a spiritual apprehension of what is implied 
in the saying of Christ that all power was delivered unto 
him. The ability of Christ to do all and even exceeding 
abundantly above all that we ask or think, is what the soul 
needs clearly to apprehend in a spiritual sense, that is, to ap- 
prehend it, not merely as a theory or as a proposition, but to 
see the true spiritual import of this saying. This is also 
equally true of all that is said in the bible about Christ, of 
all his offices and relations. It is one thing to theorize and 
speculate and opine about Christ, and an infinitely different 
thing to know him as he is revealed by the Holy Spirit. 
"When Christ is fully revealed to the soul by the Comforter, 
it will never again doubt the attainability and reality of en- 
tire sanctificatiori in this life. 

(19.) Another necessity of the soul is to know Christ spir- 
itually as the Prince of Peace. " Peace I leave w r ith you; 
my peace I give unto you," said Christ. What is this peace? 
And who is Christ in the relation of the Prince of Peace? 



SANCTIFICATIOX. 263 

What is it to possess the peace of Christ — to have the 
peace of God rule in our hearts? Without the revelation of 
Christ to the soul by the Holy Spirit, it has no spiritual ap- 
prehension of the meaning of this language. Nor can it lay 
hold on and appropriate Christ as its peace, as the Prince of 
Peace. Whoever knows and has embraced Christ as his 
peace and as the Prince of Peace, knows what it is to have 
the peace of God rule in his heart. But none else at all un- 
derstand the true spiritual import of this language, nor can 
it be so explained to them as that they will apprehend it un- 
less it be explained by the Holy Spirit. 

('20. ) The soul needs also to know Christ as the Captain of 
salvatiorf, as the skillful conductor, guide and captain of the 
>oul in all its conflicts with its spiritual enemies, as one who 
is ever at hand to. lead the soul on to victory and make it 
more than a conqueror in all its conflicts with the world, the 
flesh, and Satan. How indispensable to a living and efficient 
faith it is and must be for the soul to clearly apprehend by 
the Holy Spirit this relation of Captain of Salvation and 
Captain of the Lord r s Host. Without confidence in the 
Leader and Captain, how shall the soul put itself under his 
guidance and protection in the hour of conflict? It can not. 

The fact is that when the soul is ignorant of Christ as a 
Captain or Leader, it will surely fall in battle. If the church 
as a body but knew Christ as the Captain of the Lord's 
Host; if he were but truly and spiritually known to them in 
that relation, no more confusion would be seen in the ranks 
of God's elect. All would be order and strength and con- 
quest. They would soon go up and take possession of the 
whole territory that has been promised to Christ. The 
heathen should soon be given to him for an inheritance and 
the uttermost parts of the world for a possession. Joshua 
knew Christ as the Captain of the Lord's Host. Conse- 
quently he had more courage, and efficiency, and prowess 
than all Israel besides. Even so it is now. When a soul 
can be found who thoroughly knows and has embraced and 
appropriated Christ, he is a host of himself. That is, he has 
appropriated the attributes of Christ to himself: and his in- 
fluence is felt in Heaven, and earth, and hell. 

(21.) Another affecting and important relation in which 
the soul needs to know Christ, is that of our Passover. 

It needs to understand that the only reason why it has not 
been or will not assuredly be slain for sin is that Christ has 
-prinkled, as our Paschal Lamb, the lintel &nd door posts of 



264 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

our souls with his own blood, and that therefore the destroy- 
ing angel passes us by. There is a most deep and sin-subdu- 
ing or rather temptation-subduing spirituality in this relation 
of Christ to the soul when revealed by the Holy Spirit. We 
must apprehend our sins as slaying the Lamb, and apply 
his blood to our souls by faith — his blood as being our pro- 
tection and our only trust. We need to know the security 
there is in this being sprinkled with his blood, and the 
certain and speedy destruction of all who have not taken 
refuge under it. We need to know also that it will not 
do for a moment to venture out into the streets and from 
under its protection, lest we be slain there. 

(22.) To know Christ as our Wisdom in the true spiritual 
sense is doubtless indispensable to our entire in the sense of 
continued sanctification. He is our wisdom in the sense of 
being the whole of our religion. That is, when separated 
from him we have no spiritual life whatever. He is at the 
bottom of, or the inducing cause of all our obedience. This 
we need clearly to apprehend. Until the soul clearly under- 
stands this, it has learned nothing to the purpose of its help- 
lessness and of Christ's spiritual relations to it. 

(23.) Very nearly allied to this is Christ's relation to the 
soul as its Sanctification. I have been amazed at the igno- 
rance of the church and of the ministry respecting Christ as 
its Sanctification. He is not its Sanctifier in the sense that he 
does something to the soul that enables it to stand and per- 
severe in holiness in its own strength. He does not change 
the structure of the soul, but he watches over and works in 
it to will and to do continually, and thus becomes its Sanctifi- 
cation. His influence is not exerted once for all, but con- 
stantly. When he is apprehended and embraced as the 
soul's sanctification, he rules in and reigns over the soul in so 
high a sense that he, as it were, develops his own holiness 
in us. He, as it were, swallows us up, so enfolds (if I may so 
say,) our wills and our souls in his that we are willingly led 
captive by him. We will and do as he wills within us. He 
charms the will into a universal bending to his will. He so 
establishes his throne in, and his authority over us that he 
subdues us to himself. He becomes our sanctification only 
in so far forth as we are revealed to ourselves, and he reveal- 
ed to us, and as we receive him and put him on. What! has 
it come to this, that the church doubt and reject the doctrine 
of entire sanctification in this life? Then, it must be that 
they have lost sight of Christ as their sanctification. Is 



SANCTIFICATION. 



265 



not Christ perfect in all his relations? Is there not a com- 
pleteness and fulness in him? When embraced by us, are 
we not complete in him? The secret of all this doubting 
about and opposition to the doctrine of entire sanctification 
is to be found in. the fact that Christ is not apprehended and 
embraced as our sanctification. The Holy Spirit sanctifies 
only by revealing Christ to us as our sanctification. He does 
not speak of himself, but takes of the things of Christ and 
shows them to us. 

Two among the most prominent ministers in the Presbyte- 
rian church have said to me within a few years, that they 
had never heard of Christ as the sanctification of the soul. 
O, how many of the ministry of the present day overlook the 
true spiritual gospel of Christ. 

(34.) Another of Christ's spiritual relations is that of the 
Redemption of the soul; not merely as the Redeemer consid- 
ered in his governmental relation, but as a present Redemp- 
tion. To apprehend and receive Christ in this relation, the 
soul needs to apprehend itself as sold under sin; as being 
the voluntary but real slave of lust and appetite, except as 
Christ continually delivers us from its power by strengthen- 
ing and confirming our wills in resisting and overcoming the 
flesh. 

(25.) Christ our Prophet is another important spiritual re- 
lation in which we need to apprehend Christ by the Holy 
Spirit as a condition of entire sanctification. He must be 
received as the great teacher of our souls, so that every 
word of his, will be received as God speaking to us. This 
will render the bible precious and all the words of life 
efficient to the sanctification of our souls. 

(26.) As our High Priest we need also to know Christ. I 
say we need to know him in this relation, as really ever liv- 
ing and ever sustaining this relation to us, offering up, as it 
were, by a continual offering, his own blood and himself as 
a propitiation for our sins; as being entered within the veil 
and as ever living to make intercession for us. Much pre- 
cious instruction is to be gathered from this relation of Christ. 
We need, perishingly need, to know Christ in this relation, 
as a condition of a right dependence upon him. I all the 
while feel embarrassed with the consideration that I am not 
able in this course of instruction to give a fuller account of 
Christ in these relations. We need a distinct revelation of 
him in each of these relations in order to a thorough under- 
23 



266 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

standing and clear apprehension of that which is implied in 
each and all of the relations of Christ. 

When we sin, it is because of our ignorance of Christ 
That is, whenever temptation overcomes us, it is because we 
do not know and avail ourselves of that relation of Christ 
that would meet at the time our necessities. One great thing 
that needs to be done is to correct the developments of our 
sensibility. The appetites and passions are enormously de- 
veloped in their relations to earthly objects. In relation to 
things of time and sense our propensities are greatly devel- 
oped and are alive; but in relation to spiritual truths and 
objects and eternal realities, we are naturally as dead as 
stones. When first converted, if we knew enough of our- 
selves and of Christ to thoroughly develop and correct the 
action of the sensibility and confirm our wills in a state of 
entire consecration, we should not fall. In proportion as the 
law-work preceding conversion has been thorough and the 
revelation of Christ at or immediately subsequent to conver- 
sion, full and clear, just in that proportion do we witness 
stability in converts. In most, if not in all instances, how- 
ever, the convert is too ignorant of himself, and, of course, 
knows too little about Christ, to be established in permanent 
obedience. He needs renewed conviction of sin, to be re- 
vealed to himself and to have Christ revealed to him, and be 
formed in him the hope of glory, before he will be steadfast, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord. 

Before I close this lecture, I must remark and shall have 
occasion to repeat the remark, that from what has been said, 
it must not be inferred that the knowledge of Christ in all 
these relations is a condition of our coming into a state of 
entire consecration to God or of present sanctification. The 
thing insisted on is that the soul will abide in this state in 
the hour of temptation only so far forth as it betakes itself 
to Christ in such circumstances of trial, and apprehends and 
appropriates him by faith from time to time in those relations 
that meet the present and pressing necessities of the soul. 
The temptation is the occasion of revealing the necessity, 
and the Holy Spirit is always ready to reveal Christ in the 
particular relation suited to the newly developed necessity. 
The perception and appropriation of him in this relation, 
under these circumstances of trial, is the sine qua non of our 
remaining in the state of entire consecration. 






LECTURE LXI. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

Christ our Sanctificatiojv. 

(27.) We need also to know ourselves as starving souls, and 
Christ as the ''Bread of Life," as "the Bread that came down 
from Heaven. We need to know spiritually and experimen- 
tally what it is to u eat of his flesh and to drink of his blood, ,, 
to receive him as the bread of life, to appropriate him to the 
nourishment of our souls as really as we appropriate bread, 
by digestion, to the nourishment of our bodies. This I know 
is mysticism to the carnal professor. But to the truly spiritu- 
ally minded, " this is the bread of God that came down from 
heaven, of which if a man eat he shall never die." To hear 
Christ talk of eating his flesh and of drinking his blood was a 
great stumbling block to the carnal Jews, as it now is to car- 
nal professors. Nevertheless this is a glorious truth that 
Christ is the constant sustenance of the spiritual life as truly 
and as literally as food is the sustenance of the body. But 
the soul will never eat this bread until it has ceased to at- 
tempt to fill itself with 'the husks of its own doings, or with 
any provision this world can furnish. Do you know, chris- 
tian, what it is to eat of this bread? If so, then you shall 
never die. 

(28.) Christ also needs to be revealed to the soul as the 
Fountain of the water of life. " If any man thirst," says he, 
* ; let him come unto me and drink." U I am the Alpha and 
Omega, and to him that is athirst will I give to drink of the 
fountain of the water of life freely." The soul needs to have 
such discoveries made to it, as to beget a thirst after God, that 
can not be allayed except by a copious draft at the fountain 
of the water of life. It is indispensable to the establishing of 
the soul in perfect love, that its hungering after the bread and 
its thirsting for the water of life should be duly enkindled 
and that the spirit should pant and struggle after God, and 
"cry out for the living God," that it should be able to say 
with truth: " My soul panteth after God as the hart panteth 



268 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



for the water brooks; " My heart and my flesh cry out for the 
living God;'' " My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath 
after thee at all times." When this state of mind is induced 
by the Holy Spirit so that the longing of the soul after per- 
petual holiness is irrepressible, it is prepared for a revelation of 
Christ in all those offices and relations that are necessary to 
secure its establishment in love. Especially is it then pre- 
pared to apprehend, appreciate and appropriate Christ as the 
bread and water of life, to understand what it is to eat the 
flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God. It is then in a 
state to understand what Christ meant when he said, " Bles- 
sed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness, 
for they shall be filled." They not only understand what it 
is to hunger and thirst, but also what it is to be filled; to 
have the hunger and thirst allayed, and the largest desire ful- 
ly satisfied. The soul then realizes, in its own experience, 
the truthfulness of the apostle's saying that Christ "is able to 
do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." 
Many stop short even of any thing like intense hunger and 
thirst; others hunger and thirst, but have not the idea of the 
perfect fulness and adaptedness of Christ to meet and satisfy 
the longing of their souls. They, therefore, do not plead 
and look for the soul-satisfying revelation of Christ. They 
expect no such Divine fulness and satisfaction of soul. They 
are ignorant of the fulness and perfection of the provisions 
of the " glorious gospel of the blessed God," and consequent- 
ly they are not encouraged to hope from the fact that they 
hunger and thirst after righteousness that they shall be filled; 
but they remain unfed, unfilled, unsatisfied, and after a sea- 
son through unbelief, fall into indifference and remain in 
bondage to lust. 

(29.) The soul needs also to know Christ as the true God, and 
the eternal life. "No man can say that Jesus is the Lord 
save by the Holy Spirit." The proper Divinity of Christ is 
never and never can be held otherwise than as a mere opin- 
ion, a tenet, a speculation, an article of a creed, until he is 
revealed to the inner man by the Holy Spirit. But nothing 
short of an apprehension of Christ as the supreme and living 
God to the soul can inspire that confidence in him that is es- 
sential to its established sanctification. The soul can have 
no apprehension of what is intended by his being the "Eter- 
nal Life," until it spiritually knows him as the True God. 
When he is spiritually revealed as the true and living God, 
the way is prepared for the spiritual apprehension of him as 



SANCTIFICATION. 269 

the eternal life. " As the living Father hath life in himself, 
so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself." wt In 
him was life and the life was the light of men." " I give 
unto them eternal life." M I am the way, the truth, and the 
life." " I am the resurrection and the life." These and 
similar passages the soul needs spiritually to apprehend, to 
have a spiritual and personal revelation of them within. 
Most professors seem to me to have no right idea of the con- 
dition upon which the bible can be made of spiritual use to 
them. They seem not to understand that in its letter it is on- 
ly a history of things formerly revealed to men; that it is in 
fact a revelation to no man except upon the condition of its 
being personally revealed, or revealed to us in particular by 
the Holy Spirit. The mere fact that we have in the gospel 
the history of the birth, the life, the death of Christ, is no 
such revelation of Christ to any man as meets his necessi- 
ties and as will insure or render his salvation possible. 
Christ and his doctrine, his life, and death, and resurrection, 
need to be revealed personally by the Holy Spirit, to each 
and every soul of man to effect his salvation. So it is with 
every spiritual truth; without an inward revelation of it to 
the soul, it is only a savor of death unto death. It is in vain 
to hold to the proper Divinity of Christ as a speculation, a 
doctrine, a theory, an opinion, without the revelation of his 
Divine nature and character to the soul by the Holy Spirit. 
But let the soul know him and walk with him as the True 
God, and then it will no longer question whether, as our 
sanctification, he is all sufficient and complete. Let no one 
object to this that if this is true, men are under no obligation 
to believe in Christ and to obey the gospel without or until 
they are enlightened by the Holy Spirit. To such an ob- 
jection, should it be made, I would answer, 

[1.] Men are under an obligation to believe every truth so 
far as they can understand or apprehend it, but no farther. 
So far as they can apprehend the spiritual truths of the gos- 
pel without the Holy Spirit, so far, without his aid they are 
bound to believe it. But Christ has himself taught us that 
no man can come to him except the Father draw him. That 
this drawing is teaching is evident from what Christ proceeds 
to say. "For it is written," said he, "they shall all be 
taught of God. Every one therefore that hath heard and 
hath learned of the Father cometh to me." That this learn- 
ing of the Father is something different from the mere oral 
or written instructions of Christ and the apostles, is evident 
23* 



270 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY". 

from the fact that Christ assured those to whom he preached 
with all the plainness with which he was able, that they still 
could not come to him except drawn, that is, taught of the 
Father. As the Father teaches by the Holy Spirit, Christ's 
plain teaching in the passage under consideration is, that no 
man can come to him except he be specially enlightened by 
the Holy Spirit. Paul unequivocally teaches the same thing. 
"No man," says he, " can say that Jesus is the Lord but by 
the Holy Spirit." Notwithstanding all the teaching of the 
apostles, no man by merely listening to their instruction could 
so apprehend the true Divinity of Christ as to honestly and 
with spiritual understanding say that Jesus is the Lord. But 
what spiritual or true christian does not know the radical dif- 
ference between being taught of man and of God, between the 
opinions that we form from reading, hearing and study, and the 
clear apprehensions of truths that are communicated by the 
direct and inward illuminations of the Holy Spirit. 

[2.] I answer that men under the gospel are entirely with- 
out excuse for not enjoying all the light they need from the 
Holy Spirit, since he is in in the world, has been sent for the 
very purpose of giving to all all the knowledge of them- 
selves and of Christ which they need. His aid is freely prof- 
fered to all, and Christ has assured us that the Father is more 
willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him than pa- 
rents are to give good gifts to their children. All men under 
the gospel know this and all men have light enough to ask in 
faith for the Holy Spirit, and of course all men may know of 
themselves and of Christ all that they need to know. They 
are therefore able to know and to embrace Christ as fully 
and as fast as it is their duty to embrace him. They are 
able to know Christ in his governmental and spiritual rela- 
tions just as fast as they come into circumstances to need to 
know him in these various relations. The Holy Spirit, if he 
is not quenched and resisted, will surely reveal Christ in all 
his relations and fulness indue time, so that in every tempta- 
tion a way of escape will be open, so that we shall be able 
to bear it. This is expressly promised, 1 Cor. 10: 13. 
M There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common 
to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be 
tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation 
also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. n 
Men are able to know what God offers to teach them upon a 
condition within the compass of their ability. The Holy Spi- 
rit offers, upon condition of faith in the express promise of 



SANCTIFICATION. 271 

God, to lead every man into all truth. Every man is there- 
fore under obligation to know and do the whole truth so far 
and so fast as it is possible for him to do so with the light of 
the Holy Spirit. 

(30.) But be it remembered that it is not enough for us to 
apprehend Christ as the True God and the eternal life, but we 
need also to lay hold upon him as our life. It can not be too 
distinctly understood that a particular and personal appropri- 
ation of Christ in such relations is indispensable to our being 
rooted and grounded, established and perfected in love. 
When our utter deficiency and emptiness in any one respect 
or direction is deeply revealed to us by the Holy Spirit with 
the corresponding remedy and perfect fulness in Christ, it 
then remains for the soul in this respect and direction to cast 
off self and put on Christ. When this is done, when self in 
that respect and direction is dead, and Christ is risen and 
lives and reigns in the heart in that relation, all is strong, 
and whole, and complete in that department of our life and 
experience. For example, suppose we find ourselves consti- 
tutionally, or by reason of our relations and circumstances, 
exposed to certain besetments and temptations that overcome 
us. Our weakness in this respect we observe in our experi- 
ence. But upon observing our exposedness and experiencing 
something of our weakness we begin with piling resolution 
upon resolution. We bind ourselves with oaths, and prom- 
ises, and covenants, but all in vain. When we purpose to 
stand, we invariably, in the presence of the temptation, fall. 
This process of resolving and falling brings the soul into 
great discouragement and perplexity, until at last the Holy 
Spirit reveals to us fully that we are attempting to stand and 
to build upon nothing. The utter emptiness and worse than 
uselessness of our resolutions and self-originated efforts, is so 
clearly seen by us as to annihilate forever self-dependence in 
this respect. Now the soul is prepared for the revelation of 
Christ to meet this particular want. Christ is revealed and 
apprehended as the soul's substitute, surety, life and salvation 
in respect to the particular besetment and weakness of which 
it has had so full and so humiliating a revelation. Now if 
the soul utterly and forever cast off and renounce self, and 
put on the Lord Jesus Christ as he is seen to be needed to 
meet his necessity, then all is complete in him. Thus far 
Christ is reigning within us. Thus far we,, know what is the 
power of his resurrection, and are made conformable to his 
death. 



272 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

But I said that we need to know and to lay hold upon 
Christ as our life. Too much stress can not be laid upon our 
personal responsibility to Christ, our individual relation to 
him, our personal interest in him and obligation to him. To 
sanctify our own souls, we need to make every department of 
religion a personal matter between us and God, to regard 
every precept of the bible and every promise, saying, exhor- 
tation, threatening, and in short, we need to regard the 
whole bible as given to us and earnestly seek the personal 
revelation of every truth it contains to our own souls. No 
one can too fully understand or too deeply feel the necessity 
of taking home the bible with all it contains as a message 
sent from heaven to /wra, nor can he too earnestly desire or 
seek the promised Spirit to teach him the true spiritual im- 
port of all its contents. O, he must have the bible become 
a personal revelation of God to his own soul. It must be- 
come his own book. He must know Christ for himself. He 
must know him in his different relations. He must know 
him in his blessed and infinite fulness or he can not abide in 
him, and unles's he abide in Christ, he can bring forth none 
of the fruits of holiness. w Except a man abide in me he is 
cast forth as a branch and is withered." 

Apprehending and embracing Christ as our life implies the 
apprehension of the fact that we of ourselves are dead in trespas- 
ses and in sins, that we have no life in ourselves, that death has 
reigned and will eternally reign in and over us unless Christ 
become our life. Until man knows himself to be dead, and 
that he is wholly destitute of spiritual life in himself, he will 
never know Christ as his life. It is not enough to hold the 
opinion that all men are by nature dead in trespasses and 
sins. It is not enough to hold the opinion that we are in 
common with all men, in this condition in and of ourselves. 
We must see it. We must know what such language means. 
It must be made a matter of personal revelation to us. We 
must be made fully to apprehend our own death and Christ 
as our life, and we must fully recognize our death and him as 
our life by personally renouncing self in this respect and 
laying hold on him as our own spiritual and eternal life. Ma- 
ny persons, and strange to say, some eminent ministers, are 
so blinded as to suppose that a soul entirely sanctified does not 
any longer need Christ, assuming that such a soul has spirit- 
ual life in and of himself; that there is in him some founda- 
tion or efficient occasion of continued holiness, as if the Ho- 
ly Spirit had changed his nature or infused physical holi- 



SANCTIFICATION. 



273 



ness or a holy principle into him. O, when will such men 
cease to darken counsel by words without knowledge upon 
the infinitely important subject of sanctification! When will 
such men — when will the church, understand that Christ is 
our sanctification; that we have no life, no holiness, no sanc- 
tification except as we abide in Christ and he in us; that, 
separate from Christ, there never is any moral excellence in 
any man; that Christ does not change the constitution of 
man in sanctification, but that he only, by our own consent, 
gains and keeps the heart; that he enthrones himself, with 
our consent, in the heart and through the heart he extends 
his influence and his life to all our spiritual being; that he 
lives in us as really and truly as we live in our own bodies; 
that he as really reigns in our will and consequently in our 
emotions, by our own free consent, as our wills reign in our 
bodies? Can not our brethren understand that this is sancti- 
fication, and that nothing else is? that there is no degree of 
sanctification that is not to be thus ascribed to Christ? and 
that entire sanctification is nothing else than the reign of Je- 
sus in the soul? nothing more nor less than Christ, the res- 
urrection and the life, raising the soul from spiritual death 
and reigning in it through righteousness unto eternal life? I 
must know and embrace Christ as my life; I must abide in 
him as a branch abides in .the vine; I must not only hold 
this as an opinion ; I must know and act on it in practice. O, 
when the ministry of reconciliation all know and embrace a 
whole Christ for themselves; when they preach Jesus in all 
his fullness and present vital power to the church; when they 
testify what they have seen and their hands have handled of 
the word of life — then and not till then will there be a general 
resurrection of the dry bones of the house of Israel. Amen. 
Lor/1, hasten the day. 

(30.) We need especially to know Christ as the "All in all." 
Col. 3: 11 i" Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circum- 
cision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, 
but Christ is all, and in all." Before the soul will cease 
to be overcome by temptation, it must renounce self-depend- 
ence in all things. It must be as it were self-annihilated. It 
must cease to think of self as having in it any ground of de- 
pendence in the hour of trial. It must wholly and in all 
things renounce self and put on Christ. It must know self 
as nothing in the matter of spiritual life and Christ as all. 
The Psalmist could say " all our springs are in thee." He 
is the fountain of life. Whatever of life is in us flows direct- 



274 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

\y from him as the sap flows from the vine to the branch, or 
as a rivulet flows from its fountain. The spiritual life that 
is in us is really Christ's life flowing through us. Our 
activity, though properly our own, is nevertheless stimulated 
and directed by his presence and agency within us. So that 
we can and must say with Paul, "yet not I, but Christ liveth 
in me." — Gal. 2: 20. It is a good thing for a self-conceited 
sinner to suffer even in his own view, self-annihilation, as it 
respects the origination of any spiritual obedience to God, 
or any spiritual good whatever. But this must be before he 
will learn on all occasions and in all things to stand in Christ, 
to abide in him as his "all." O, the infinite folly and mad- 
ness of the carnal mind! It would seem that it will always 
make trial of its own strength before it will depend on Christ. 
It will look first for resources and help within itself before it 
will renounce self and make Christ its " all in all." It will 
betake itself to its own wisdom, righteousness, sanctification 
and redemption. In short, there is not an office or relation of 
Christ that will be recognized and embraced until the soul 
has first come into circumstances to have its wants in relation 
to that oflice of Christ developed by some trial and often by 
some fall under temptation, then and not until in addition 
to this Christ is clearly and prevailingly revealed by the Holy 
Spirit insomuch that self is put down and Christ is exalted in 
the heart. Sin has so becrazed and befooled mankind that 
when Christ tells them " without me ye can do nothing, and 
if any man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and 
is withered," they neither apprehend what or how much he 
means and how much is really implied in these and similar 
sayings, until one trial after another fully develops the appal- 
ling fact that they are nothing so far as spiritual good is con- 
cerned, and that Christ is " all and in a//." 

(32.) Another relation in which the soul must know Christ, 
bcfore.it will steadily abide in him, is that of "the Resurrection 
and the Life." '^Through and by Christ the soul is raised from 
spiritual death. Christ as the resurrection and the life, is 
raised in the soul. He arises or revives the Divine image 
out of the spiritual death that reigns within us. He is be- 
gotten by the Holy Spirit and born within us. He arises 
through the death that is within us and develops his own life 
within our own being. Will any one say " this is a hard 
saying, who can hear it?" Until we know by our own expe- 
rience the power of this resurrection within us we shall 



SANCTIFICATION. 275 

never understand " the fellowship of his sufferings and he 
made conformable to his death." He raises our will from its 
fallen state of death in trespasses and sins, or from its state 
of committal and voluntary enslavement to lust and to self, 
to a state of conformity to the will of God. Through the 
intelligence, he pours a stream of quickening truth upon the 
soul. He thus quickens the will into obedience. By making 
fresh discoveries to the soul, he strengthens and confirms the 
will in obedience. By thus raising, and sustaining, and 
quickening the will, he rectifies the sensibility and quickens 
and raises the whole man from the dead, or rather builds up 
a new and spiritual man upon the death and ruins of the old 
and carnal man. He raises the same powers and faculties 
that were dead in trespasses and sins to a spiritual life. He 
overcomes their death and inspires them with life. He lives 
in saints and works in them to will and to do and they live in 
him according to the saying of Christ in his address to his 
Father, Jno. 17: 21. "As thou, Father art in me and I in 
thee that they also may be one in us;" and again 23: "I in 
them and thou in me that they may be made perfect in one." 
He does not raise the soul to spiritual life in any such sense 
that it has life separate from him for one moment. The spir- 
itual resurrection is a continual one. Christ is the resurrec- 
tion in the sense that he is at the foundation of all our obe- 
dience at every moment. He, as it were, raises the soul or 
the will from the slavery of lust to a conformity to the will 
of God, in every instance and at every moment of its conse- 
cration to the will of God. But this he does only upon con- 
dition of our apprehending and embracing him in this rela- 
tion. In reading the bible, I have often been struck with 
the fact that the inspired writers were so far ahead of the 
great mass of professed believers. They write of the rela- 
tions in which Christ had been spiritually revealed to them. 
All the names and titles and official relations of Christ must 
have had great significancy with them. They spoke not 
from theory or from what man had taught them, but from 
experience, from what the Holy Spirit taught them. As the 
risen Christ is risen and lives and is developed in one rela- 
tion after another in the experience of believers, how striking 
the writings of inspiration appear! As the necessities of our 
being are developed in experience, and as Christ is revealed 
as in all new circumstances and relations just that and all 
that we need, who has not marvelled to find, in the bible, 
way-marks and guide-boards and mile-stones, and all the evi- 



VJ/O SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

dences that we could ask or desire that inspired men have 
gone this way and have had substantially the same experien- 
ces that we have. We are often also struck with the fact 
that they are so far ahead of us. At every stage in our pro- 
gress we seem to have, as it were, a new and improved edi- 
tion of the bible. We discover worlds of truth before unno- 
ticed by us — come to know Christ in precious relations in 
which we had known nothing of him before. And ever, as 
our real wants are discovered, Christ is seen to be all that we 
need, just the thing that exactly and fully meets the necessi- 
ties of our souls. This is indeed "the glorious gospel of 
the blessed God." 

(33.) Another precious and most influential relation of Christ 
in the affair of our sanctification, is that of the Bridegroom 
or Husband of the soul. The individual soul needs to be 
espoused to Christ, to enter this relation personally by its own 
consent. Mere earthly and outward marriages are nothing but 
sin, unless the hearts are married. True marriage is of the 
heart, and the outward ceremony is only a public manifesta- 
tion or profession of the union or marriage of the souls or 
hearts. 

All marriage may be regarded as typical of that union 
into which the spiritual soul enters with Christ. This rela- 
tion of Christ to the soul is frequently recognized both in the 
old and the new testament. It is treated of by Paul as a 
great mystery. The seventh and eighth chapters of Romans 
present a striking illustration of the results of the soul's re- 
maining under the law on the one hand and of its being mar- 
ried to Christ on the other. The seventh chapter begins 
thus, u Know ye not brethren (for I speak to them that know 
the law) how that the law hath dominion over a man so long 
as he liveth. For the woman who hath a husband is bound 
by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if her 
husband be dead she is loosed from the law of her husband. 
So then, if while her husband liveth, she be married to an- 
other man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her hus- 
band be dead she is free from that law, so that she is no adul- 
teres though she be married to another man. Therefore, my 
brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of 
Christ: that ye should be married to another, even to Christ 
who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit 
unto God." The apostle then proceeds to show the results 
of these two marriages or relations of the soul. When 
married to the law he says of it, " For when we were in 



SANCTIFICATION. 277 

the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did 
work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." But 
when married to Christ, he proceeds to say, "we are deliver- 
ed from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that 
we should serve in newness of spirit and not in the oldness 
of the letter." The remaining part of this (7th) chapter is 
occupied with an account of the soul's bondage while mar- 
ried to the law, of its efforts to please its husband, with its 
continual failures, its deep convictions, its selfish efforts, its 
consciousness of failures and its consequent self-condemna- 
tion and despondency. It is perfectly obvious, when the al- 
legory with which the Apostle commences this chapter is 
considered, that he is portraying a legal experience for the 
purpose of contrasting it with the experience of one who 
has attained to the true liberty of perfect love. 

The eighth chapter represents the results of the marriage 
of the soul to Christ. It is delivered from its bondage to the 
law and from the power of the law of sin in the members. It 
brings forth fruit unto God. Christ has succeeded in gaining 
the affections of the soul. What the law could not do, Christ 
has done, and the righteousness of the law is now fulfilled in 
the soul. The representation is as follows. The soul is 
married to the law and acknowledges its obligation to obey 
its husband. The husband requires perfect love to God and 
man. This love is wanting, the soul is selfish. This dis- 
pleases the husband, and he denounces death against her if 
she does not love. She recognizes the reasonableness of 
both the requisition and the threatening, and resolves upon 
full obedience. But being selfish, the command and threaten- 
ing but increases the difficulty. All her efforts at obedience 
are for selfish reasons. The husband is justly firm and im- 
perative in his demands. The wife trembles, and promises, 
and resolves upon obedience. But all in vain. Her obedi- 
ence is only feigned, outward, and not love. She becomes 
disheartened and gives up in despair. As sentence is about 
to be executed, Christ appears. He witnesses the dilemma. 
He reveres, and honors, and loves the huband. He entirely 
approves his requisition and the course he has taken. He 
condemns in most unqualified terms the wife. Still he pities 
and loves her with deep benevolence. He will consent to 
nothing which shall have the appearance of disapproving 
the claims or the course of her husband. His rectitude must 
be openly acknowledged. Her husband must not be dishon- 
ored. But on the contrary he must be "magnified and made 
24 



278 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

honorable." Still Christ so much pities the wife, as to be 
willing to die as her substitute. This he does, and the wife 
is regarded as dying in and by him her substitute. Now 
since the death of either of the parties is a dissolution of the 
marriage covenant, and since the wife in the person of her 
substitute has died under and to the law, her husband, she is 
now at liberty to marry again. Christ rises from the dead. 
This striking and overpowering manifestation of disinterested 
benevolence on the part of Christ in dying for her, subdues 
her selfishness and wins her whole heart. He proposes 
marriage and she consents with her whole soul. Now she 
finds the law of selfishness or of self-gratification broken, 
and the righteousness of the law of love fulfilled in her 
heart. The last husband requires just what the first requir- 
ed, but having won her whole heart, she no longer needs to 
resolve to love, for love is as natural and spontaneous as her 
breath. Before, the 7th of Romans was the language of her 
complaint. Now the eighth is the language of her triumph. 
Before she found herself unable to meet the demands of her 
husband, and equally unable to satisfy her own conscience. 
Now she finds it easy to obey her husband and that his com- 
mandments are not grievous, although they are identical with 
those of the first husband. Now this allegory of the Apos- 
tle is not a mere rhetorical flourish. It represents a reality, 
and one of the most important and glorious realities in exis- 
tence, namely, the real spiritual union of the soul to Christ, 
and the blessed results of this union, the bringing forth of 
fruit unto God. This union is, as the apostle says, a great 
mystery; nevertheless it is a glorious reality. "He that is 
joined unto the Lord, is one spirit." — 1 Cor. 6: 17. 

Now until the soul knows what it is to be married to the 
law and is able to adopt the language of the 7th of Romans, 
it is not prepared to see and appreciate and be properly af- 
fected by the death and the love of Christ. Great multi- 
tudes rest in this first marriage, and do not consent to die 
and rise again in Christ. They are not married to Christ 
and do not know that there is such a thing, and expect to live 
and die in this bondage, crying out, " O wretched man that 
I am?" They need to die and rise again in Christ to a new 
life founded in and growing out of a new relation to Christ. 
Christ becomes the living head or husband of the soul, its 
surety, its life. He gains and retains the deepest affection of 
the soul, thus writing his law in the heart, and engraving it 
in the inward parts. 






S A NOTIFICATION. 



279 



But not only must the soul know what it is to be married 
to the law with its consequent thraldom and death, but it 
must also for itself enter into the marriage relation with a 
risen, living Christ. This must not be a theory, an opinion, 
a tenet; nor must it be an imagination, a mysticism, a notion, 
a dream. It must be a living, personal, real entering into a 
personal and living union with Christ, a most entire and uni- 
versal giving of self to him and receiving of him in the re- 
lation of spiritual husband and head. The Spirit of Christ 
and our spirit must embrace each other and enter into an 
everlasting covenant with each other. There must be a mu- 
tual giving of self and receiving of each other, a blending of 
spirits in such a sense as is intended by Paul in the passage 
already quoted: "He that is joined to the Lord, is one spirit." 

My brother, my sister, do you understand this? Do you 
know what both these marriages are, with their diverse re- 
sults? If you do not, make no longer pretence to being 
sanctified, for you are still in the gall of bitterness and in the 
bond of iniquity. u Escape for thy life." 



LECTURE LXII. 

SANCTIFICATION. 

(34.) Another interesting and highly important relation 
which Christ sustains to his people, is that of Shepherd. 
This relation presupposes the helpless and defenceless condi- 
tion of christians in this life and the indispensable necessity 
of guardianship and protection. Christ was revealed to the 
Psalmist in this relation, and when on earth, he revealed 
himself to his disciples in this relation. It is not enough, 
however, that he should be revealed merely in the letter or 
in words as sustaining this delation. The real spiritual 
import of this relation and what is implied in it, needs to be 
revealed, by the Holy Spirit, to give this relation efficiency 
and beget that universal trust in the presence, care, and pro- 
tection of Christ that is often essential to preventing a fall in 
the hour of temptation. Christ meant all that he said when 
he professed to be the Good Shepherd, that cared for his 
sheep, that would not flee, but that would lay down his life 
for them. In this relation as in all others, there is infinite 
fullness and perfection. If the sheep do thoroughly know 
and confide in the shepherd, they will follow him, will flee 
to him for protection in every hour of danger, will at all times 
depend on him for all things. Now all this is received and 
possessed in theory by all professors of religion. And yet 
how few comparatively seem to have had Christ so reveal- 
ed to them as to have secured the actual embracing of 
him in this relation and a continual dependence on him 
for all that is implied in it. Now either this is a vain boast 
of Christ, or else he may be and ought to be depended upon, 
and the soul has a right to throw itself upon him for all that 
is implied in the relation of Good Shepherd. But this rela- 
tion with all the other relations of Christ implies a corres- 
ponding necessity in us. This necessity we must see and 
feel, or this relation of Christ will have no impressive signif- 
icancy. We need, then, in this case as in all others the rev- 
elation of the Holy Spirit to make us thoroughly to appre- 



SANCTIFICATION. 281 

hend our dependence, and to reveal Christ in the spirit and 
fullness of this relation, and to urge our acceptance home up- 
on us until our souls have thoroughly closed with him. Some 
fall into the mistake of supposing that when their necessities 
and the fullness of Christ have been revealed to the mind by 
the Spirit, the work is done. But unless they actually re- 
ceive him and commit themselves to him in this relation, they 
will soon find to their shame that nothing has been done to 
purpose so far as their standing in the hour of temptation is 
concerned. He may be clearly revealed in any of his rela- 
tions, the soul may see both its necessities and his fullness, and 
yet forget or neglect to actively and personally receive him 
in these relations. It should never be forgotten that this is 
in every case indispensable. The revelation is designed to 
secure our acceptance of him; if it does not do this, it has 
only greatly aggravated our guilt without at all securing to 
us the benefits of these relations. It is amazing to see how 
common it is and has been for ministers to overlook this truth, 
and of course neither to practice it themselves, nor urge it up- 
on their hearers. Hence Christ is not known to multitudes 
and is not in many cases received even when he is revealed 
by the Holy Spirit. If I am not greatly mistaken, thorough 
inquiry would show that error upon this subject exists to a 
most appalling extent. The personal and individual accept- 
ance of Christ in all his offices and relations as the sine qua 
non of entire sanctification seems to me to be seldom either 
understood or insisted on by ministers of the present day, 
and of course little thought of by the church. The idea of 
accepting for ourselves a Whole Savior, of appropriating to 
our own individual selves all the offices and relations of Je- 
sus seems to be a rare idea in this age of the church. But 
for what purpose does he sustain these relations? Is the 
bare apprehension of those truths and of Christ in these re- 
lations enough without our own activity being duly excited 
by the apprehension, to lay hold and avail ourselves of his 
fullness? What folly and madness for the church to expect 
to be saved by a rejected Savior! To what purpose is it for 
the Spirit to make him known to us unless we as individuals 
embrace him and make him our own? Let the soul but tru- 
ly and fully apprehend and embrace Christ in this relation of 
shepherd, and it shall never perish neither shall any pluck it 
out of his hand. The knowing of Christ in this relation, se- 
cures the soul against following strangers. But thus knowing 
him is indispensable to securing this result. If we know him 
24* 



282 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

as shepherd, we shall follow him but not else. Let this be 
well considered. 

(35.) Christ is also the Door by and through which the soul 
enters the fold and finds security and protection among the 
sheep. This needs also to be spiritually apprehended, and the 
door needs to be spiritually and personally entered to secure 
the guardianship of the Good Shepherd. Those who do not 
spiritually and truly apprehend Christ as the door and enter 
by and through him and yet hope for salvation, are surely at- 
tempting to climb up some other way, and are therefore 
thieves and robbers. This is a familiar and well known truth, 
in the mouth, not only of every minister and christian, but of 
every sabbath school child. Yet how few really apprehend 
and embrace its spiritual import. That there is no other 
means or way of access to the fold of God, is admitted by 
all the orthodox; but who really perceives and knows through 
the personal revelation of the Holy Spirit what and all Christ 
meant in the very significant words, " Verily, Verily, I say 
unto you, I am the door of the sheep;" w I am the door: by 
me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in 
and out and find pasture?" He who truly discovers this door 
and gains access by it, will surely realize in his own experi- 
ence the faithfulness of the Good Shepherd, and will go in 
and out and find pasture. That is, he will surely be fed, be 
led into green pastures and beside the still waters. 

But it is well to inquire what is implied in this relation of 
Christ? 

[1.] It implies that we are shut out from the protection 
and favor of God except as we approach him through and by 
Christ. 

[2.] It implies that we need to know and clearly to appre- 
hend and appreciate this fact. 

[3.] That we need to discover the door and what is implied 
both in the door and in entering it. 

[4.] That entering it implies the utter renunciation of self 
and of self-righteousness and self-protection and, support and 
a putting ourselves entirely under the control and protection 
of the Shepherd. 

[5.] That we need the revelation of the Holy Spirit to 
make us clearly apprehend the true spiritual import of this 
relation and what is implied in it. 

[6.] That when Christ is revealed in this relation, we need 
to embrace him and for ourselves to enter by and through 



SANCTIFICATION. 

him into the enclosure that every where surrounds the chil- 
dren of God. 

It is an inward and not a mere outward revelation that we 
need. It is an inward, a heart entering, and not a mere no- 
tion, idea, theory, dream of the imagination. It is really an 
intelligent act of the mind; as much and as real an entering 
iuto the fold or favor of God by and through Christ as we 
ever entered the house of God on the Sabbath-day by the 
door. When the soul enters by the door, it finds an infinitely 
different reception and treatment from that of those who 
climb up into the church upon a ladder of mere opinion, a 
scaling ladder of mere orthodoxy. This last class are not 
fed. They find no protection from the Good Shepherd. 
They do not know the Shepherd and follow him, because they 
have climbed up another way. They have not confidence 
in him, can not approach him with boldness and claim his 
guardianship and protection. Their knowledge of Christ is 
but an opinion, a theory, a heartless and fruitless speculation. 

how many give the saddest proof that they have never 
entered by the door, and consequently have no realization in 
their own life and experience of the blessed and efficient pro- 
tection and support of the Good Shepherd. Here I must 
not forget again to insist upon the necessity of a personal 
revelation of our relations to God as being excluded from all 
access to him and his favor save through Christ the door; and 
also the necessity of the personal revelation to us by the 
Holy Spirit of Christ as the door, and of what is implied in 
this; and lastly and emphatically upon the indispensable ne- 
cessity of a personal, responsible, active, and full entering in 
at this door and gaining access for ourselves to the inclosure 
of the love and favor of God. Let this never for one mo- 
ment be forgotten or overlooked. I must enter for and by 
myself. I must truly enter. I must be conscious that I enter. 

1 must be sure that I do not misapprehend what is implied 
in entering; and at my peril I must not forget or neglect to 
enter. 

And here it is important to inquire, have you had this per- 
sonal and spiritual revelation? Have you clearly seen your- 
self without the fold exposed to all the unrelenting cruelty 
of your spiritual enemies and shut out forever by your sin 
from the favor and protection of God? When this has been 
revealed, have you been made clearly to apprehend Christ as 
the door? Have you understood what is implied in his sus- 
taining this relation? And last, but not least, have you enter- 



284 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

ed this door by faith? Have you seen the door open, and 
have you entered for yourself, and have you daily this evi- 
dence that you follow the Shepherd and find all you need? 

(36.) Christ is also the Way of Salvation. 

Observe: he is not a mere teacher of the way, as some 
vainly imagine and teach. Christ is truly "the way," itself, or 
he is himself t; the way." Works are not the way whether 
these works are legal or gospel works, whether works of 
law or works of faith. Works of faith are a condition of 
salvation. But they are not " the way." Faith is not the 
way. Faith is a condition of entering and abiding in this 
way, but it is not " the way." Christ is himself " the way." 
Faith receives him to reign in the soul, and to be its salvation. 
But it is Christ himself who is "the way." The soul is saved 
by Christ himself, not by doctrine, not by the Holy Spirit, 
not by works of any kind, not by faith, or love, or by any 
thing whatever but by Christ himself. The Holy Spirit re- 
veals and introduces Christ to the soul, and the soul to Christ. 
He takes of Christ's and shows to us. But he leaves it to 
Christ to save us. He urges and induces us to accept of 
Christ, to receive him by appropriating faith as he reveals 
him to us. But Christ is the way. It is his being received 
by us, that saves the soul. But we mnst perceive the way. 
We must enter this way by our own act. We must proceed 
in this way. We must continue in this way to the end of 
life and to all eternity as indispensable conditions of our sal- 
vation. u Whither I go ye know and the way ye know," 
said Christ. u Thomas said unto him, Lord we know not 
whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?" u Je- 
sus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; 
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had 
known me ye should have known my Father also, and from 
henceforth ye know him and have seen him. Philip saith 
unto him, Lord show us the Father and it sufficeth us. Je- 
sus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and 
yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me 
hath seen the Father, and, how sayest thou show us the Fa- 
ther? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the 
Father in me?" Here Christ so identifies himself with the 
Father as to insist that he who had seen one had seen the 
other. When, therefore, he says, no man cometh to the Fa- 
ther but by him, we are to understand that no man need ex- 
pect to find the true God elsewhere than in him. The visi- 
ble Christ embodied the true Godhead. He is the way to 



SANCTIFICATION. 



285 



God, for and because he is the true God and the eternal life 
and salvation of the soul. Many seem to understand Christ 
in this relation as nothing more than a teacher of a system of 
morality by the observance of which we may be saved. 
Others regard this relation as only implying that he is the 
way in the sense of making an atonement and thus render- 
ing it possible for us to be forgiven. Others still understand 
this language as implying not only that Christ made an atone- 
ment and opened up a way of access through his death and 
mediation to God, but also that he teaches us the great truths 
essential to our salvation. Now all this in my apprehension 
falls entirely, and I may say, infinitely short of the true spir- 
itual meaning of Christ and the true spiritual import of this 
relation. The above is implied and included in this relation 
beyond question, but this is not all nor the essential truth in- 
tended in this declaration of Christ's. He did not say, I 
came to open the way, nor to teach the way, nor to call you 
into the way, but " / am the way." Suppose he had intended 
merely that his instructions pointed out the way, or that his 
death was to open the way, and his teaching point it out, 
would he not have said: What! have I so long taught you, 
and have you not understood my doctrine? Would he not 
have said, I have taught you the way, instead of saying, I am 
the way? The fact is, there is a meaning in these words, 
more profoundly spiritual than his disciples then, and than 
many now seem capable of understanding. He is himself the 
way of salvation because he is the salvation of the soul. 
He is the way to the Father because he is in the Father 
and the Father is in him. He is the way to eternal life be- 
cause he is himself the very essence and substance of eternal 
life. The soul that finds him needs not to look for eter- 
nal life, for it has found it already. These questions of 
Thomas and Philip show how little they really knew of Christ 
previous to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Vast multitudes 
of the professed disciples of the present day seem not to 
know Christ as "the way," They seem not to have known 
Christ in this relation as he is revealed by the Holy Spirit, 
This revelation by the Comforter of Christ as w the way," is 
indispensable to our so knowing him as to retain our standing 
in the hour of temptation. We must know and enter and 
walk and abide in this true and living way for ourselves. It 
is a living way and not a mere speculation. 

Do you, my brother, know Christ by the Holy Spirit as the 
"living way?" Do you know Christ for yourself by a person- 



286 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

al acquaintance? or do you know him only by report, by hear- 
say, by preaching, by reading and by study? Do you know 
him as in the Father and the Father as in him? Philip 
seemed not to have had a spiritual and personal revelation of 
the proper deity of Christ to his own soul. Have you .had 
this revelation? And when he has been revealed to you as 
the true and living way, have you by faith personally entered 
this way? Do you abide steadfast in it? Do you know by 
experience what it is to live and move and have your very 
being in God? Be ye not deceived; he that does not spiritu- 
ally discern, and enter this way, and abide in it unto the end, 
can not be saved. Do see to it then that you know the way 
to be sanctified, to be justified, to be saved. See to it that 
you do not mistake the way and betake yourself to some oth- 
er way. Remember, works arc not the way. Faith is not 
the way. Doctrine is not the way. All these are conditions 
of salvation, but Christ in his own person, is " the way."'' His 
own life living in and united to you, is the way and the only 
way. You enter this way by faith; works of faith result 
from and are a condition of abiding in this way; but the way 
itself is the indwelling, living, personally embraced and appro- 
priated Christ, the true God and the eternal life. 

Amen, Lord Jesus; the way is pleasant, and all its paths 
are peace. 

(37.) Christ is also "the Truth," and as such he must be ap- 
prehended and embraced to secure the soul from falling in 
the hour of trial. In this relation many have known Christ 
merely as one who declared the truth, as one who revealed 
the true God and the way of salvation. This is all they un- 
derstand hy this assertion of Christ, that he is the Truth. 

But if this is all, why may not the same with equal truth be said 
of Moses, and of Paul and John ? They taught the truth. They 
revealed the true God so far as holy lives and true doctrine 
are concerned; and yet who ever heard of John, or Paul, or 
Moses as being the way or the truth? They taught the way 
and the truth, but they were neither the way nor the truth, 
while Christ is truth. What, then, is truth? Why, Christ is 
the truth. Whoever knows Christ spiritually, knows the 
truth. Words are not the truth. Ideas are not the truth. 
Both words and ideas may be signs or representatives of the 
truth. But the truth lives and has a being and a home in 
Christ. He is the embodiment and the essence of truth. He 
is reality. He is substance and not shadow. He is truth 
revealed. He is elementary, essential, eternal, immutable, 



SANCTIFICATION. 



287 



necessary, absolute, self-existent, infinite Truth. When the 
Holy Spirit reveals truth, he reveals Christ. When Christ 
reveals truth, he reveals himself. Philosophers have found it 
difficult to define truth. Pilate asked Christ, what is truth, 
but did not wait for an answer. The term is doubtless used 
in a double sense. Sometimes the mere reflection or repre- 
sentation of things in signs, such as words, actions, writings, 
pictures, and diagrams, &c, is called truth; and this is the 
popular understanding of it. But all things that exist are 
only signs, reflections, symbols, representations or types of 
the Author of all things. That is, the universe is only the 
objective representation of the subjective truth, or is the re- 
flection or reflector of God. It is the mirror that reflects 
the essential truth or the true and living God. 

But I am aware that none but the Holy Spirit can posses* 
the mind of the import of this assertion of Christ. It is full 
of mystery and darkness, and is a mere figure of speech to one 
unenlightened by the Holy Spirit in respect to its true spirit- 
ual import. The Holy Spirit does not reveal all the relations 
of Christ to the soul at once. Hence there are many to 
whom Christ has been revealed in some of his relations 
while others are yet veiled from the view. Each distinct 
name and office and relation needs to be made the subject of 
a special and personal revelation to the soul, to meet its ne- 
cessities, and to confirm it in obedience under all circumstan- 
ces. When Christ is revealed and apprehended as the essen- 
tial, eternal, immutable truth, and the soul has embraced him 
as such, as he of whom all that is popularly called truth is 
only the reflection, as he of whom all truth in doctrine whether 
of philosophy in any of its branches, or revelation in any of 
its departments; I say, when the mind apprehends him as 
that essential truth of which all that men call truth is only 
the reflection, it finds a rock, a resting place, a foundation, a 
stability, a reality, a power in truth of which before it had no 
conception. If this is unintelligible to you I can not help it. 
The Holy Spirit can explain and make you see it, I can 
not. Christ is not truth in the sense of mere doctrine, nor in 
the sense of a teacher of true doctrine, but as the substance 
or essence of truth. He is that of w.hich all truth in doctrine 
treats. True doctrine treats of him, but is not identical with 
him. Truth in doctrine is only the sign, or declaration, or 
representation of truth in essence, of living, absolute, self-ex- 
istent truth in the Godhead. Truth in doctrine or true doc- 
trine is a medium through which substantial or essential truth 



288 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

is revealed. But the doctrine or medium is no more identi- 
cal with truth than light is identical with the objects which 
it reveals. Truth in doctrine is called light and is to essential 
truth what light is to the objects that radiate or reflect it 
Light coming from objects is at once the condition of and the 
medium through which they are revealed. So true doctrine 
is the condition and the means of knowing Christ the essen- 
tial truth. All truth in doctrine is only a reflection of Christ 
or is a radiation upon the intelligence from Christ. When 
we learn this spiritually, we shall learn to distinguish between 
doctrine and him whose radiance it is — to worship Christ as 
the essential truth and not the doctrine that reveals him — to 
worship God instead of the Bible. We shall then find our 
way through the shadow to the substance. Many no doubt 
mistake and fall down and worship the doctrine, the preacher, 
the bible, the shadow, and do not look for the ineffably glori- 
ous substance of which this bright and sparkling truth is on- 
ly the sweet and mild reflection or radiation. 

Dearly beloved, do not mistake the doctrine for the thing 
treated of by the doctrine. When you find your intellect 
enlightened and your sensibility quickened by the contem- 
plation of doctrine, do not confound this with Christ. Look 
steadily in the direction from which the light emanates until 
the Holy Spirit enables you to apprehend the essential truth, 
and the true light that enlighteneth every man. Do not mis- 
take a dim reflection of the sun for the sun himself. Do not 
fall down at a pool and worship the sun dimly reflected from 
its surface, but lift your eye and see where he stands glorious 
in essential and eternal and ineffable brightness. It is be- 
yond question that multitudes of professed christians know 
nothing farther than the doctrine of Christ; they never had 
Christ himself personally revealed or manifested to them. 
The doctrine of Christ as taught in the gospel is intended to 
direct and draw the mind to him. The soul must not rest in 
the doctrine, but receive the living, essential person and sub- 
stance of Christ. The doctrine makes us acquainted with 
the facts concerning Christ and presents him for acceptance. 
But do not rest in the story of Christ crucified and risen and 
standing at the door, but open the door and receive the risen, 
living and Divine Savior as the essential and all-powerful 
truth to dwell within you forever. 

(38.) Christ is u the true light." John says of him, " In 
him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the 
Light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended 



SANCTIFICATION. 

it not. There was a man sent from God whose name was 
John. The same came for a witness to bear witness of the 
Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not 
that Light, but he came to bear witness of that Light* That 
was the true light which lighteneth every man that cometh 
into the world." Jesus says, "I am the light of the world: he 
that followeth me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the 
light of life.' 1 And again, "While ye have the light, believe 
in the light." " I am come a light into the world." Again, 
it is said of Saul on his way to Damascus, "And there shined 
around him a light from heaven above the brightness of the 
sun." It is said of Christ in his transfiguration on the mount. 
" that his raiment became white as the light." Paul speaks 
of Christ as dwelling in light which no man can approach 
unto. Peter says of him, "who called you into his marvelous 
light." John says, "God is light and in him is no darkness 
at all." Of the New Jerusalem it is said, that the inhabi- 
tants have no need of the sun, nor of the moon to enlighten 
it, "for the glory of God and the Lamb are the light thereof- 
Light certainly appears to be of two kinds, as every spirit- 
ual mind knows, physical and spiritual. Physical or natural 
light reveals or makes manifest physical objects through the 
fleshly organ, the eye. Spiritual light is no less real light 
than physical. In the presence of spiritual light the mind 
directly sees spiritual truths and objects, as, in the presence 
of material or natural light, it distinctly sees material objects. 
The mind has an eye or seeing faculty which uses the ma- 
terial eye and natural light to discern material objects. Jt 
is not the eye that sees. It is always the mind that sees. It 
uses the eye merely as an instrument of vision by which it 
discerns material objects. The eye and the light are condi- 
tions of seeing the material universe, but it is always the 
mind that sees. 

So the mind directly sees spiritual realities in the presence 
of spiritual light. But what is light? What is natural, and 
what is spiritual light? Are they really identical, or are they 
essentially different? It is not my purpose here to enter into 
any philosophical speculations upon this subject; but I must 
observe, that, whatever spiritual light is, the mind under cer- 
tain circumstances can not discern the difference, if differ- 
ence there is, between them. Was that spiritual or physical 
light which the disciples saw on the mount of transfiguration? 
Was that spiritual or physical light which Paul and his com- 
panions saw on their way to Damascus? What light is that 
25 



290 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

which falls upon the mental eye of the believer when he 
draws so near to God as not at the moment to at all distin- 
guish the glory that surrounds him from material light? 
What was that light which made the face of Moses shine 
with such brightness that the people were unable to behold 
it? And what is that light which lights up the countenance 
of a believer when he comes direct and fresh from the mount 
of communion with God? There is often a visible light in 
his countenance. What is that light which often shines upon 
the pages of the bible making its spiritual meaning as mani- 
fest to the mind as the letters and words are. In such sea- 
sons the obscurity is removed from the spirit of the bible just 
as really and as visibly as the rising sun would remove the ob- 
scurity of midnight from the letter. In one case you perceive 
the letter clearly in the presence of natural light. You have 
no doubt, you can have no doubt that you see the letters and 
words as they are. In the other, you apprehend the spirit of 
the bible just as clearly as you see the letter. You can no 
more doubt at the time that you see the true spiritual import 
of the words than that you see the words themselves. Both 
the letter and the spirit seem to be set in so strong a light 
that you know that you see both. Now what light is this in 
which the spirit of the bible is seen? That it is light, every 
spiritual man knows. He calls it light. He can call it 
nothing else. At other times the letter is as distinctly visi- 
ble as before and yet there is no possibility of discerning the 
spirit of the bible. It is then only known in the letter. We 
are then left to philologize, and philosophise, and theorize, 
and theologize, and are really all in the dark as to the true 
spiritual import of the bible. But when " the true light that 
lighteth every man" shines upon the word, we get at once a 
deeper insight into the real spiritual import of the word than 
we could have gotten in a life-time without it. Indeed the 
true spiritual import of the bible is hid from the learning of 
this world, and revealed to the babes who are in the light of 
Christ. I have often been afflicted with the fact that true 
spiritual light is rejected and contemned, and the very idea 
of its existence rejected by many men who are wise in the 
wisdom of this world. But the bible every where abounds 
with evidence that spiritual light exists, and that its presence 
is a condition of apprehending the reality and presence of 
spiritual objects. It has been generally supposed that the 
natural sun is the source of natural light. Sure it is that 
light is a condition of our beholding the objects of the mate- 



SANCTIFICATION. 



!29i 



rial universe. But what is the source of spiritual light? The 
bible says Christ is. But what does this mean? When it is 
said that he is the true light, does it mean only that he is 
the teacher of true doctrine? Or does it mean that he is 
the light in which true doctrine is apprehended, or its spirit- 
ual import understood, that he shines through and upon all 
spiritual doctrine, and causes its spiritual import to be appre- 
hended, and that the presence of his light, or, in other words, 
his own presence, is a condition of any doctrine's being spir- 
itually understood? He is no doubt the essential light. That 
is, light is an attribute of his Divinity. Essential, uncreated 
light is one of the attributes of Christ as God. It is a spirit- 
ual attribute of course. But it is an essential and a natural 
attribute of Christ, and whoever knows Christ after the Spirit, 
or whoever has a true, spiritual, and personal acquaintance 
with Christ, as God, knows that Christ is light, that his being 
called light is not a mere figure of speech; that his K cover- 
ing himself with light as with a garment;' 1 his enlightening 
the heavenly world with so ineffable a light, that no man can 
approach thereunto and live, that the strongest seraphim are 
unable to look with unveiled face upon his overpowering ef- 
fulgence: — I say, to a spiritual mind, these are not mere fig- 
ures of speech; they are understood by those who walk in 
the light, or who walk in the light of Christ, to mean what 
they say. 

I dwell upon this particular relation of Christ because of 
the importance of its being understood, that Christ is the real 
and true light who alone can cause us to see spiritual things 
as they are. Without his light we walk in the midst of the 
most overpowering realities without being at all aware of 
their presence. Like one surrounded with natural darkness, 
or as one deprived of natural light gropes his way and knows 
not at what he stumbles, so one deprived of the presence and 
light of Christ, gropes his way and stumbles at he knows not 
what. To attain to true spiritual illumination and to continue 
and walk in this light, is indispensable to entire sanctifica- 
tion. O, that this were understood. Christ must be known 
as the true and only light of the soul. This must not be 
held merely as a tenet. It must be understood and spiritu- 
ally experienced and known. That Christ is in some unde- 
termined sense the light of the soul and the true light is gen- 
erally admitted just as multitudes of other things are ad- 
mitted without being at all spiritually and experimentally 
understood. But this relation or attribute of Christ must be 



292 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

spiritually known by experience as a condition of abiding in 
him. John says, u this then is the message which we have 
heard of him, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at 
all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk 
in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. But if we walk 
in the light as he is in the light, w r e have fellowship one 
with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth 
us from all sin." This light is come into the world, and if 
men do not love darkness rather than light, they will know 
Christ as the true light of the soul and will so walk in the 
light as not to stumble. 

I desire much to amplify upon this relation of Christ, but 
must forbear or I shall too much enlarge this course of in- 
struction. I would only endeavor to deeply impress you 
with the conviction that Christ is light and that this is no fig- 
ure of speech. Rest not, my brother, until you truly and ex- 
perimentally know him as such. Bathe your soul daily in 
his light so that when you come from your closet to your pul- 
pit, your people shall behold your face shine as if it were tin 
face of an angel. 



LECTURE LXIII. 
S A NOTIFICATION. 

(39.) Another relation which Christ sustains to the believ- 
er, and which it is indispensable that he should recognize 
and spiritually apprehend as a condition of entire sanctifica- 
tion is that of rt Christ within us." 

" Know ye not," says the Apostle " that Jesus Christ is in 
you except ye be reprobates." — 2 Cor. 13: 5. But ye are not 
in the flesh, but in the Spirit if the Spirit of God dwell in 
you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none 
of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of 
sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." — Ro. 8: 9, 
10. "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until 
Christ be formed in you."— Gal. 4: 19. w Yet not I, but 
Christ liveth in me." — Gal. 2: 20. Now it has often ap- 
peared to me that many know Christ only as an outward 
Christ, as one who lived many hundred years ago, who died, 
and arose, and ascended on high, and who now lives in heav- 
en. They read all this in the bible, and in a certain sense 
they believe it. That is they admit it to be true historically. 
But have they Christ risen within them? living within the 
veil of their own flesh and there ever making intercession 
for them and in them? This is quite another thing. Christ 
in heaven making intercession is one thing; this is a great 
and glorious truth. But Christ in the soul, there also living 
" to make intercession for us with groanings, that can not be 
uttered," is another thing. The Spirit that dwells in the 
saints is frequently in the Bible represented as the Spirit of 
Christ and as Christ himself. Thus in the passage just quo- 
ted from the eight of Romans, the apostle represents the 
Spirit of God that dwells in the saints as the Spirit of Christ 
and as Christ himself. Ro. 8: 9, 10; "But ye are not in the 
flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell 
in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he 
is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead 
because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteous- 
ness." This is common in the Bible. The Spirit of Christ 
25* 



294 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

then, or the real Deity of Christ dwells in the truly spiritual 
believer. But this fact needs to be spiritually apprehended 
and kept distinctly and continually in view. Christ not only 
in heaven, but Christ within us, as really and truly inhabiting 
our bodies as we do, as really in us as we are in ourselves, 
is the teaching of the bible, and must be spiritually appre- 
hended by a divine, personal, and inward revelation, to se- 
cure our abiding in him. We not only need the real pres- 
ence of Christ within us, but we need his manifested pres- 
ence to sustain us in hours of conflict. Christ may be really 
present within us as he is without us, without our apprehend- 
ing his presence. His manifesting himself to us as with and 
in us is by himself conditionated upon our faith and obedi- 
ence. His manifesting himself within us and thus assuring 
us of his constant and real presence, confirms and establishes 
the confidence and obedience of the soul. To know Christ 
after the flesh or merely historically as an outward Savior, is 
of no spiritual avail. We must know him as an inward Sa- 
vior, as Jesus risen and reigning in us, as having arisen and 
established his throne in our hearts, and as having written 
and established the authority of his law there. The old man 
dethroned and crucified, Christ risen within us and united to 
us in such a sense that we w twain are one spirit," is the true 
and only condition and secret of entire sanctification. O 
that this were understood. Why, many ministers talk and 
write about sanctification just as if they supposed that it con- 
sisted in and resulted from a mere self-originated formation 
of holy habits. What infinite blindness this for spiritual 
guides! True sanctification consists in entire consecration 
to God; but be it ever remembered that this consecration is 
induced and perpetuated by the Spirit of Christ. The fact 
that Christ is in us needs to be so clearly apprehended by us 
as to annihilate the conception of Christ as only afar off, in 
heaven. The soul needs so to apprehend this truth as to 
turn within and not look without for Christ, so that it will 
naturally seek communion with him in the closet of the soul. 
or within, and not let the thoughts go in search of him with- 
out. Christ promised to come and take up his abode with 
his people, to manifest himself unto them, &c, that the Spir- 
it whom he would send, (which was his own Spirit as abun- 
dantly appears from the bible,) should abide with them for- 
ever, that he should be with them and in them. Now all this 
language needs to be spiritually apprehended, and Christ 
needs to be recognized as by his Spirit as really present with 



SANCTIFICATION. 295 

us as we are with ourselves, and really as near to us as we 
are to ourselves, and as infinitely more interested in us than 
we are in ourselves. This spiritual recognition of Christ 
present with and in us, has an overpowering charm in it. 
The soul rests in him and lives, and walks, and has its being 
in his light, and drinks at the fountain of his love. It drinks 
also of the river of his pleasures. It enjoys his peace, and 
leans upon his strength. 

Many professors have not Christ formed within them. The 
Galatian christians had fallen from Christ. Hence the apos- 
tle says: "My little children of whom I travail in birth 
again until Christ be formed in you." Have you a spiritual 
apprehension of what this means? 

(40.) We must spiritually know Christ as " our Strength" 
as a condition of entire sanctification. Says the Pslamist 
Ps. 18: 1: "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength:" and 
again 19: 14: u O Lord my strength;" and again, 31: 4: 
M Pull me out of the net, for thou art my strength;" and again, 
43: 2: " Thou art the God of my strength;" and again, 59: 
17: "To thee, O my strength, will I sing;" and again, 144: 
1: "Blessed be the Lord my strength." In Is. 27: 5: u The 
Lord says. Let him take hold of my strength and he shall 
make peace with me." Jeremiah says, Jer. 16: 19: " O 
Lord, my Strength." Hab. 3: 9: "God is my Strength." 
In 2 Cor. 12: 9; Christ says to Paul, "My strength is made 
perfect in weakness." We are commanded to be strong in 
the Lord and in the power of his might, that is, to appropriate 
his strength by faith. We are exhorted to take hold on his 
strength, and doing this is made a condition of making peace 
with God. That God is in some sense our strength, is gener- 
ally admitted. But I fear it is rare to apprehend the true 
spiritual sense in which he is our strength. Many take ref- 
uge, not in his strength by faith, but in the plea that he is 
their strength, and that they have none of their own while 
they continue in sin. But this class of persons neither tru- 
ly understand nor believe that God is their strength. It is 
with all who hold this language and yet live in sin, an opin- 
ion, a tenet, a say-so, but by no means a spiritually appre- 
hended and embraced truth. If the real meaning of this 
language were spiritually apprehended and embraced with the 
heart, the soul would no more live in sin. It would no more 
be overcome with temptation while appropriating Christ than 
God would be overcome. 



296 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

The conditions of spiritually apprehending Christ as our 
strength are, 

[1.] The spiritual apprehension of our own weakness, 
its nature and degree. 

[2.] The revelation of Christ to us as our strength by the 
Holy Spirit. 

When these revelations are truly made, and self-depend- 
ence is therefore forever annihilated, the soul comes to un- 
derstand wherein its strength lies. It renounces forever its 
own and relies wholly on the strength of Christ. This it 
does not in the antinomian, do-nothing, sit-still sense of the 
term; but on the contrary it actively takes hold of Christ's 
strength and uses it in doing all the will of God. It does not 
sit down and do nothing, but on the contrary it takes hold of 
Christ's strength and sets about every good word and work as 
one might lean upon the strength of another and go about 
doing good. The soul that understands and does this as 
really holds on to and leans upon Christ as a helpless man 
would lean upon the arm or shoulder of a strong man to be 
borne about in some benevolent enterprise. It is not a state 
of quietism. It is not a mere opinion, a sentiment, a hum- 
bug. It is, with the sanctified soul, one of the clearest reali- 
ties in existence that he leans upon and uses the strength of 
Christ. He knows himself to be constantly and persever- 
ingly active in thus availing himself of the strength of Christ; 
and being perfectly weak in himself or perfectly emptied of 
his own strength, Christ's strength is made perfect in his 
weakness. This renunciation of his own strength is not a 
denial of his natural ability in any such sense as virtually to 
charge God with requiring what he is unable to perform. It 
is a complete recognition of his ability were he disposed to 
do all that God requires of him, and implies a thorough and 
honest condemnation of himself for not using his powers as 
God requires. But while it recognizes its natural liberty or 
ability and its consequent obligation, it at the same time 
clearly and spiritually sees that it has been too long the slave 
of lust ever to assert or to maintain its spiritual supremacy 
as the master instead of the slave of appetite. It sees so 
clearly and affectingly that the will or heart is so weak in the 
presence of temptation that there is no hope of its maintain- 
ing its integrity unsupported by strength from Christ, that it 
renounces forever its dependence on its own strength and 
casts itself wholly and forever on the strength of Christ. 
Christ's strength is appropriated only upon condition of a 



SANCTIFICAT10N, 297 

full renunciation of one's own. And Christ's strength is 
made perfect in the soul of man only in its entire weakness: 
that is, only in the absence of all dependence on its own 
strength. Self must be renounced in every respect in which 
we appropriate Christ. He will not share the throne of the 
heart with us, nor will he be put on by us except in so far forth 
as we put off ourselves. Lay aside all dependence on your- 
self in every respect in which you would have Christ. Many 
reject Christ by depending on self, and seem not to be aware 
of their error. 

Now, do let it be understood and constantly borne in mind 
that this self-renunciation and taking hold on Christ as our 
strength, is not a mere speculation, an opinion, an article of 
faith, a profession, but must be one of the most practical real- 
ities in the world. It must become to the mind an omnipres- 
ent reality in so much that you shall no more attempt any 
thing in your own strength than a man who never could walk 
without crutches would attempt to arise and walk without 
thinking of them. To such an one his crutches become a 
part of himself. They are his legs. He as naturally uses 
them as we do the members of our body. He no more for- 
gets them or attempts to walk without them than we attempt 
to walk without our feet. Now just so it is with one who 
spiritually understands his dependence on Christ. He knows 
he can walk and that he must walk, but he as naturally uses 
the strength of Christ in all his duties as the lame man uses 
his crutches. It is as really an omnipresent reality to him 
that he must lean upon Christ as it is to the lame man that 
he must lean upon his crutch. He learns on all occasions to 
keep hold of the strength of Christ and does not even think 
of doing any thing without him. He knows that he need 
not attempt any thing in his own strength; and if he should, 
he knows it will result in failure and disgrace just as really 
and as well as the man without feet or legs knows that 
for him to attempt to walk without his crutch would insure a 
fall. This is a great, and, I fear, a rarely learned lesson 
with professed christians, and yet how strange that it should 
be so, since, in every instance since the world began attempts 
to walk without Christ have resulted in complete and instan- 
taneous failure. All profess to know their own weakness 
and their remedy, and yet how few give evidence of knowing 
either. 

(41.) Christ is also the Keeper of the soul; and in this re- 
lation he must be revealed to and embraced by each soul as 



298 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



the condition of its abiding in Christ, or, which is the same 
thing, as a condition of entire sanctification. Ps. 121: *•! 
will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my 
help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven 
and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved he that 
keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold he that keepeth Is- 
rael shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keep- 
er; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall 
not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord 
shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul. 
The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, 
from this time forth, and even for evermore." This Psalm 
with a great many other passages of scripture represent God 
as exerting an efficient influence in preserving the soul from 
falling. This influence he exerts, of course not physically or 
by compulsion, but it is and must be a moral influence, that is, 
an influence entirely consistent with our own free agency. 
But it is efficient in the sense of being a prevailing influence. 
But in this relation as in all others, Christ must be appre- 
hended and embraced. The soul must see and well appreci- 
ate its dependence in this respect and commit itself to Christ 
in this relation. It must cease from its own works and from 
expecting to keep itself and commit itself to Christ and abide 
in this state of committal. Keeping the soul implies watch- 
ing over it to guard it against being overcome with tempta- 
tion. This is exactly what the christian needs. His ene- 
mies are the world, the flesh, and Satan. By these he has been 
enslaved. To them he has been consecrated. In their pres- 
ence he is all weakness in himself. He needs a keeper to 
accompany him, just as a reformed inebriate sometimes needs 
one to accompany and strengthen him in scenes of tempta- 
tion. The long established habitudes of the drunkard ren- 
der him weak in the presence of his enemy, the intoxicating 
bowl. So the christian's long cherished habits of self-indul- 
gence render him all weakness and irresolution if left to him- 
self in the presence of excited appetite or passion. As the 
inebriate needs a friend and brother to warn and expostulate 
to suggest considerations to strengthen his purposes, so the 
sinner needs the Parakletos to warn and suggest considera- 
tions to sustain his fainting resolutions. This Christ has 
promised to do; but this like all the promises is conditiona- 
ted upon our appropriating it to our own use by faith. Let 
it, then, be ever borne in mind that as our keeper, the Lord 
must be spiritually apprehended and cordially embraced and 



SANCTIFICATION. 



299 



depended upon as a condition of entire sanctification. This 
must not be a mere opinion. It must be a thorough and hon- 
est closing in with Christ in this relation. 

Brother, do you know what it is to depend on Christ in this 
relation in such a sense that you as naturally hold fast to him 
as a child would cling to the hand or the neck of a father 
when in the midst of perceived danger? Have you seen your 
need of a keeper? If so, have you fled to Christ in this re- 
lation? As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk 
ye in him. that is, abide in him and he will abide in you and 
keep you from falling, The apostle certifies or rather assumes 
that he is able to keep you from failing. * Now unto him 
that is able to keep you from falling and to presentyou fault- 
less before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy — to 
the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty, domin- 
ion and power, both now and ever, amen.' 1 — Jude 24, 25. 
Paul also says: u I know in whom I have believed, and am 
persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have commit- 
ted to him against that day." 

(42.) The soul also needs to know Christ, not merely as a 
master but as a Friend. Jno. 15: 13 — 15: "Greater love 
hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his 
friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command 
you. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant 
knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you 
friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have 
made known unto you." 

Christ took the utmost pains to inspire his disciples with 
the most implicit confidence in him. He does the same still. 
Most christians seem not to have apprehended the conde- 
scension of Christ sufficiently to appreciate fully, not to say 
at all, his most sincere regard for them. They seem afraid to 
regard him in the light of a friend, one whom they may ap- 
proach on all occasions with the utmost confidence and holy 
familiarity, one who takes a lively interest in every thing that 
concerns them, one who sympathizes with them in all their 
trials and feels more tenderly for them than we do for our 
nearest earthly friends. Observe, what emphasis he gives to 
this relation or to the strength of his friendship. He lays 
down his life for his friends. Now imagine yourself to have 
an earthly friend who loved you so much as to lay down his 
life for you; to die, too, for a crime which you had committed 
against himself. Were you assured of the strength of his 
friendship, and did you know withal his ability to help you in 



300 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

all circumstances to be absolutely unlimited, with what con- 
fidence would you unbosom yourself to him! How would 
you rest in his friendship and protection! Now even chris- 
tians are slow to apprehend Christ in the relation of a. friend. 
They stand in so much awe of him that they fear to take 
home to their hearts the full import and reality of the relation 
when applied to Christ. Yet Christ takes the greatest pains 
to inspire them with the fullest confidence in his undying and 
most exalted friendship. 

I have often thought that many professed christians had 
never really and spiritually apprehended Christ in this rela- 
tion. This accounts for their depending upon him so little in 
seasons of trial. They do not realize that he truly feels for 
and sympathizes with them, that is, his feeling for and sympa- 
thy with them, his deep interest in and pity for them, are not 
apprehended spiritually as a reality. Hence they stand 
aloof, or approach him only in words or at most with deep 
feeling and desire, but not in the unwavering confidence that 
they shall receive the things which they ask of him. But to 
prevail they must believe. "Let not that man that wavereth 
think to receive any thing of the Lord." The real, and 
deep, and abiding affection of Christ for us and his undying 
interest in us personally, must come to be a living and an 
omnipresent reality to our souls, to secure our own abiding 
in faith and love in all circumstances. There is perhaps no 
relation of Christ in which we need more thoroughly to know 
him than this. 

This relation is admitted in words by almost every body, 
yet duly realized and believed by almost no body. Yet how 
infinitely strange that Christ should have given so high 
evidence of his love to and friendship for us, and that we 
should be so slow of heart to believe and realize it! But un- 
til this truth is really and spiritually apprehended and em- 
braced, the soul will find it impossible to fly to him in seasons 
of trial with implicit confidence in his favor and protection. 
But let Christ be really apprehended and embraced as a 
friend who has laid down his life for us and would not hesi- 
tate to do it again, were it needful — and rely upon it, our 
confidence in him will secure our abiding in him. 

(43.) Christ is also to be regarded and embraced in the 
relation of an Elder Brother: Heb. 2: 10—18; "For it be- 
came him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all 
things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the cap- 
tain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both 



SANCTIFICATION. 



301 



he that sanctifieth and they who arc sanctified are all of one: 
/or which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren ; t 
saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the 
midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, 
I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the 
children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the 
children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself 
likewise took part of the same: that through death he might 
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 
and deliver them who through fear of death were all their 
life-time subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him 
the nature of angels; but he took on. him the seed of Abra- 
ham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made 
like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faith- 
ful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconcili- 
ation for the sins of the people: for in that he himself hath 
suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are 
tempted." Matt. 28: 10:— "Then said Jesus unto them. Be 
not afraid: go tell my brethren, that they go into Galilee, 
and there shall they see me." John 20: 17: — u Jesus saith 
unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my 
Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend 
unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your 
God." Rom. 8: 29: — "For whom he did foreknow, he also 
did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, 
that he might be the first-born among many brethren." 
These and other passages present Christ in the relation of a 
brother. So he is not merely a friend, but a brother. He is 
a brother possessing the attributes of God. And is it not of 
great importance that in this relation we should know and 
embrace him? It would seem as if all possible pains were 
taken by him to inspire us with the most implicit confidence 
in him. He is not ashamed to call us brethren; and shall we 
refuse or neglect to embrace him in this relation and avail 
ourselves of all that is implied in it? I have often thought 
that many professed christians really regard the relations of 
Christ as only existing in name and not at all in reality and 
fact. Am I not a man and a brother? he says to the des- 
ponding and tempted soul. Himself hath said, A brother is 
made for adversity. He is the first-born among many breth- 
ren, and yet we are to be heirs with him, heirs of God and 
joint heirs with him to all the infinite riches of the Godhead. 
;; O fools and slow of heart" not to believe and receive this 
brother to our most implicit and eternal confidence. He must 
26 



302 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

be spiritually revealed, apprehended, and embraced in this 
relation as a condition of our experiencing his fraternal 
truthfulness. 

Do let me inquire whether many christians do not regard 
such language as pathetic and touching, but after all as only 
a figure of speech, as a pretence rather than as a serious and 
infinitely important fact. Is the Father really our Father? 
Then Christ is our brother, not in a figurative sense merely, 
but literally and truly our brother. My brother? Ah truly, 
and a brother made for adversity. O Lord, reveal thyself 
fully to our souls in this relation. 

(44.) Christ is the True Vine and we are the branches. And 
do we know him in this relation, as our parent stock, as the 
fountain from whom we receive our momentary nourishment 
and life? This union between Christ and our souls is formed 
by implicit faith in him. By faith the soul leans on him, feeds 
upon him, and receives a constantly sustaining influence from 
him. John 15: 1 — 8: — "I am the true vine, and my father 
is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not 
fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit he 
purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are 
clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit 
of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except 
ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that 
abideth in me, and I him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; 
for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in 
me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men 
gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask 
what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my 
Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my 
disciples." Now it is important for us to understand what it 
is to be in Christ in the sense of this passage. It certainly 
is to be so united to him as to receive as real and as constant 
spiritual support and nourishment from him as the branch 
does natural nourishment from the vine. "If a man abide 
not in me," he says, "he is cast forth as a branch and is with- 
ered." Now to be in him implies such a union as to keep us 
spiritually alive and fresh. There are many withered pro- 
fessors in the church. They abide not in Christ. Their re- 
ligion is stale. They can speak of former experience. They 
can tell how they once knew Christ, but every spiritual mind 
can see that they*' are branches fallen off. They have no 



SANCTIFICATION. 



303 



fruit Their leaves are withered, their bark is dried; and 
they are just fit to be gathered and cast into the fire. O, 
this stale, last year's religion. Why will not professors that 
live on an old experience, understand that they are cast off 
branches, and that their withered, fruitless, lifeless, loveless, 
faithless, powerless condition testifies to their faces and be- 
fore all men that they are fit fuel for the flames? 

It is also of infinite importance that we should know and 
spiritually apprehend the conditions of abiding in Christ in 
the relation of a branch to a vine. We must apprehend our 
various necessities and his infinite fullness, and lay hold upon 
and appropriate the whole that is implied in these relations to 
our own souls and wants as fast as he is revealed. Thus we 
shall abide in him and receive all the spiritual nourishment 
we need. But unless we are thus taught by the Spirit, and 
unless we thus believe, we shall not abide in him, nor he in 
us. If we do thus abide in him, he says we shall bear much 
fruit. Much fruit, then, is evidence that we do abide in him, 
and fruitlessness is positive evidence that we do not abide in 
him. "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye 
shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you." Great 
prevalence in prayer, then, is an evidence that we abide in 
him. But a want of prevalence in prayer is conclusive evi- 
dence that we do not abide in him. No man sins while he 
properly abides in Christ. "If any man be in Christ, he is a 
new creature. Old things are passed away, and behold all 
things are become new." 

But let it not be forgotten that we have something to do 
to abide in Christ. u Abide in me," says Christ: this is re- 
quired of us. We neither at first come to sustain the rela- 
tion of a branch to Christ without our own activity, nor do 
or can we abide in him without a constant cleaving to him 
by faith. The will must of necessity be ever alive. It must 
cleave to Christ or to something else. It is one thing to hold 
this relation in theory, and an infinitely different thing to un- 
derstand it spiritually and really cleave to Christ in the rela- 
tion of the constant fountain of spiritual life. 

(45.) Christ is also the " Fountain opened in the house of 
David for sin and uncleanness;" Zee. 13: 1. Christ, (let it be 
ever remembered, and spiritually understood and embraced,) 
is not only a justifying, but also a purifying Savior. His 
name is Jesus because he saves his people from their sins. 

(46.) As Jesus, therefore, he must be spiritually known and 
embraced. Jesus, Savior! He is called Jesus or Savior, we 



304 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

arc informed, because he saves his people, not only from hell, 
but also from their sins. He saves from hell only upon con- 
dition of his saving from sin. He has no Savior, who is not 
in his own experience saved from sin? Of what use is it to 
call Jesus Lord and Savior unless he is really and practically 
acknowledged as our Lord and as our Savior from sin. Shall 
we call him Lord, Lord, and do not the things which he says? 
Shall we call him Savior, and refuse to so embrace him as to 
be saved from our sins? 

(47.) We must know him as one whose blood cleanses us 
from all sin. Heb. 9: 14: — "How much more shall the 
blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered him- 
self without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead 
works to serve the living God?" 1 Peter 1: 19: — "But with 
the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish 
and without spot." 1 Peter 1: 2: — u Elect according to the 
foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of 
the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Je- 
sus Christ." Rev. 1: 5: — "Unto him that loved us, and wash- 
ed us from our sins in his own blood." When the shedding 
of Christ's blood is rightly apprehended and embraced, when 
his atonement is properly understood and received by faith, 
it cleanses the soul from all sin; or rather, I should say, that 
when Christ is received as one to cleanse us from sin by his 
blood, we shall know what James B. Taylor meant when he 
said, "I have been into the fountain and am clean," and what 
Christ meant when he said "Now ye are clean through the 
word which I have spoken unto you." "Who hath loved us 
and washed us.from our sins in his own blood." "Then will 
I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be clean, from 
all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. 
A new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put 
within you. I will take away the stony heart out of your 
flesh and give you a heart of flesh." It is of the last impor- 
tance that language like this, relating to our being cleansed 
from sin by Christ should be elucidated to our souls by the 
Holy Spirit, and embraced by faith, and Christ truly revealed 
in this relation. Nothing but this can save us from sin. But 
this will fully and effectually do the work. It will cleanse us 
from all sin. It will cleanse us from all our filthiness and 
from all our idols. It will make us "clean." 

(48.) "His name shall be called wonderful." No inward 
or audible exclamation is more common to me of late years 
than the term Wonderful. When contemplating the nature, 



SANCTIFICATION. 



305 



the character, the offices, the relations, the salvation of Christ, 
I find myself often mentally and frequently audibly exclaim- 
ing, wonderful. My soul is filled with wonder, love, and 
praise, as I am led by the Holy Spirit to apprehend Christ 
sometimes in one and sometimes in another relation as cir- 
cumstances and trials develop the need I have of him. I am 
more and more " astonished at the doctrine of the Lord" and 
at the Lord himself from year to year. I have come to the 
conclusion that there is no end to this either in time or in 
eternity. He will no doubt to all eternity continue to make 
discoveries of himself to his intelligent creatures that shall 
cause them to exclaim "wonderful." I find my wonder 
more and more excited from one stage of christian experi- 
ence to another. Christ is indeed wonderful contemplated 
in every point of view, as God, as man, as God-man, media- 
tor. Indeed I hardly know in which of his many relations 
he appears most wonderful when in that relation he is reveal- 
ed by the Holy Spirit. All, all, is wonderful when he stands 
revealed to the soul in any of his relations. The soul needs 
to be so acquainted with him as to excite and constantly keep 
awake its wonder and adoration. Contemplate Christ in 
any point of view and the wonder of the soul is excited. 
Look at any feature of his character, at any department of 
the plan of salvation, at any part that he takes in the glorious 
work of man's redemption, look steadfastly at him as he is 
revealed through the gospel by the Holy Spirit at any time 
and place, in any of his works or ways — and the soul will 
instantly exclaim wonderful! Yes, he shall be called Won- 
derful ! 

(49.) "Counsellor" Who that has made Jesus his wisdom, 
does not and has not often recognized the fitness of calling 
him u counsellor f Until he is known and embraced in this 
relation, it is not natural or possible for the soul to go to him 
with implicit confidence in every case of doubt. Almost 
every body holds in theory the propriety and necessity of 
consulting Christ in respect to the affairs that concern our- 
selves and his church. But it is one thing to hold this opin- 
ion, and quite another to so spiritually apprehend and em- 
brace Christ in the relation of counsellor as naturally to call 
him counsellor when approaching him in secret, and as natu- 
rally to turn and consult him on all ocasions and in respect 
to every thing that concerns us; and to consult him too with 
implicit confidence in his ability and willingness to give us 
the direction we need. Thoroughly and spiritually to know 
26* 



306 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

Christ in this relation is undoubtedly a condition of abiding 
steadfast in him. Unless the soul knows and duly appreci- 
ates its dependence upon him in this relation, and unless it 
renounces its own wisdom and substitutes his in the place of 
it by laying hold of Christ by faith as the counsellor of the 
soul, it will not continue to walk in his counsel, and conse- 
quently will not abide in his love. 

(50.) The Mighty God. My Lord and my God, exclaimed 
Thomas when Christ stood spiritually revealed to him. It 
was not merely what Christ said to Thomas on that occasion 
that caused him to utter the exclamation just quoted. Thom- 
as saw indeed that Christ was raised from the dead, but so 
had Lazarus been raised from the dead. The mere fact, 
therefore, that Christ stood before him as one raised from the 
dead could not have been proof that he was God. No doubt 
the Holy Spirit discovered to Thomas at the moment the 
true Divinity of Christ, just as the saints in all ages have had 
him spiritually revealed to them as the Mighty God. I have 
long been convinced that it is in vain, so far forth as any 
spiritual benefit is concerned, to attempt to convince Unitari- 
ans of the proper Divinity of Christ. The scriptures are as 
plain as they can be upon this subject, and yet it is true that 
no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Spirit. 
As I have said in substance often, the personal revelation of 
Christ to the inward man by the Holy Spirit, is a condition 
of his being known as the w Mighty God." What is Christ 
to one who does not know him as God? To such a soul, he 
can not be a Savior. It is impossible that the soul should in- 
telligently and without idolatry commit itself to him as a 
Savior unless it knows him to be the true God. It can not 
innocently pray to him nor worship him, nor commit the soul 
to his keeping and protection until it knows him as the 
Mighty God. To be orthodox merely in theory, in opinion, 
is nothing to the purpose of salvation. The soul must knov) 
Christ as God — must believe in or receive him as such. To 
receive him as any thing else is an infinitely different thing 
from coming and submitting to him as the true, and living, 
and mighty God. 






LECTURE LXIV. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

(51.) Christ is our Shield. By this name or in this rela- 
tion he has always been known to the saints. God said to 
Abraham, I am thy Shield.-~Gen. 15: I. Ps. 33: 2D: The 
Lord is my Shield. Prov, 30: 5: He is a Shield to them 
that put their trust in him. A shield is a piece of defensive 
armor used in war. It is a broad plate made of wood or 
metal, and borne upon the arm and hand, and in conflict pre- 
sented between the body and the enemy to protect it against 
his arrows or his blows. God is the christian's shield in the 
spiritual warfare. This is a most interesting and important 
relation. He who does not know Christ in this relation, and 
has not embraced and put him on as one would buckle on a 
shield, is all exposed to the assaults of the enemy and will 
surely be wounded if not slain by his fiery darts. This is 
more than a figure of speech. No fact or reality is of more 
importance to the christian than to know how to hide 
himself behind and in Christ in the hour of conflict. Unless 
the christian has on his shield and knows how to use it, he 
will surely fall in battle. When Satan appears, the soul 
must present its shield, must take refuge behind and in Christ 
or all will be defeat and disgrace. When faith presents 
Christ as the shield, Satan retires vanquished from the field 
in every instance. Christ always makes way for our escape 
and never did a soul get wounded in conflict who made the 
proper use of this shield. But Christ needs to be known as 
our protection, as ready on all occasions to shield us from the 
curse of the law and from the artillery of the enemy of our 
souls. Be sure to truly know him and put him on in this re- 
lation, and then you may always sing of victory. 

(52.) The Lord is "the Portion" of his people. 

U I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward," said 
God to Abraham. As the reward or portion of the soul we 
need to know and embrace Christ as the condition of abiding 
in him. We need to know him as " our exceeding great por- 
tion," a present, all- satisfying portion. Unless we so know 



308 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

Christ as to be satisfied with him as all we can ask or de- 
sire, we shall not of course abstain from all forbidden sources 
of enjoyment. Nothing is more indispensable to our entire 
sanctitication than to apprehend the fullness there is in Christ 
in this relation. When the soul finds in him all its desires 
and all its wants fully met. when it sees in him all that it 
can conceive of as excellent and desirable, and that he is its 
portion, it remains at rest. It has little temptation to go af- 
ter other lovers or after other sources of enjoyment. It is 
full. It has enough. It has an infinitely rich and glorious 
inheritance. What more can it ask or think? The soul that 
understands what it is to have Christ as its portion, knows 
that he is an infinite portion, that eternity can never exhaust 
or even diminish it in the least degree; that the mind shall 
to all eternity increase in the capacity of enjoying this por- 
tion, but that no increase of capacity and enjoyment can di- 
minish ought of the infinite fullness of the Divine Portion 
of our souls. 

(53.) Christ is our Hope. 1 Tim. 1:1: 4i Paul, an apostle 
of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, 
and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our Hope." Col. 1: 27: "To 
whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory 
of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you 
the hope of glory." Our only rational expectation is from 
him. Christ in us is our hope of glory. Without Christ in 
us we have no good or well-grounded hope of glory. Christ 
in the gospel, Christ on the cross, Christ risen, Christ in 
heaven is not our hope; but Christ in ws,Christ actually pres- 
ent, living and reigning in us as really as he lives and reigns 
in glory, is our only well-grounded hope. We can not be 
too certain of this, for unless we despair of salvation in our- 
selves or in any other, we do not truly make Christ our hope. 
The soul that does not know and spiritually know Christ in 
this relation has no well-grounded hope. He may hope that 
he is a christian. He may hope that his sins are forgiven — 
that he shall be saved. But he can have no good hope of 
glory. It can not be too fully understood or too deeply real- 
ized that absolute despair of help and salvation in any other 
possible way except by Christ in us, is an unalterable condi- 
tion of our knowing and embracing Christ as our hope. Ma- 
ny seem to have conceived of Christ as their hope only in 
his outward relation, that is, as an atoning Savior, as a risen 
and ascended Savior. But the indispensable necessity of 
having Christ within them ruling in their hearts and estab- 



SANCTIFICATION. 3G9 

lishing his government over their whole being, is a condition 
of salvation of which they have not thought. Christ can 
not be truly and savingly our hope any farther than he is re- 
ceived into and reigns in our souls. To hope in merely an 
outward Christ is to hope in vain. To hope in Christ with 
the true christian hope implies, 

[1.] The ripe and spiritual apprehension of our hopeless 
condition without him. It implies such an apprehension of 
our sins and governmental relations as to annihilate all hope 
of salvation upon legal grounds. 

[2.] Such a perception of our spiritual bondage to sin as 
to annihilate all hope of salvation without his constant influ- 
ence and strength to keep us from sin. 

[3.] Such a knowledge of our circumstances of temptation 
as to empty us of all expectation of righting our own battles 
or of in the least degree making headway against our spirit- 
ual foes in our own wisdom and strength. 

[4.] A complete annihilation of all hope from any other 
source. 

[5.] The revelation of Christ to our souls as our hope by 
the Holy Spirit. 

[6.] The apprehension of him as one to dwell in us and to 
be received by faith to the supreme control of our souls. 

[7.] The hearty and joyful reception of him in this relation. 
The dethroning of self or the utter denial or rejection of self 
and the enthroning and crowning of Christ in the inner 
man. When Christ is clearly seen to be the only hope of 
the soul, and when he is spiritually received in this relation, 
the soul learns habitually and constantl/ to lean upon him, 
to rest in him, and make no efforts without him. 

(54) Christ is also our Salvation. Ex. 15: 2: "The Lord 
is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation, he is 
my God, and I will prepare him an habitation-, my fathers 
God, and I will exalt him." Ps. 27: 1: "The Lord is my 
light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? the Lord is the 
strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Ps. 38: 
22: "Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation." Ps. 62: 
7: M In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my 
strength, and my refuge, is in God." Ps. 114: "The Lord is 
my strength and song, and is become my salvation." Isa. 
12: 2: " Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not 
be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; 
he also is become my salvation." Isa. 49: 6: " And he said, 
It is a light thing that thou shouldcst be my servant, to raise 



310 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, 

up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Isra- 
el; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou 
mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth/' Luke 
2: 30: "For mine eyes have seen thy salvation." These 
and multitudes of similar passages present Christ not only as 
our Savior, but as our Salvation. That is, he saves us by be- 
coming himself our salvation. Becoming our salvation in- 
cludes and implies the following things: 

[I.] Atonement for our sins. 

[2.] Convincing us of and converting us from our sins. 

[3.] Sanctifying our souls. 

[4.] Justifying or pardoning and accepting or receiving us 
to favor. 

[5.] Giving us eternal life and happiness. 

[6.J The bestowment of himself upon us as the portion of 
our souls. 

[7.] The everlasting union of our souls with God. 

All this Christ is to us and well he may be regarded not 
only as our Savior, but as our salvation. 

Nothing is or can be more important than for us to appre- 
hend Christ in the fulness of his relations to us. Many seem 
to have but extremely superficial apprehensions of Christ. 
They seem in a great measure blind to the length, and 
breadth, and height, and depth of their infinite necessities. 
Hence they have never sought for such a remedy as is found 
in Christ. The great mass of christian professors seem to 
conceive of the salvation of Christ as consisting in a state of 
mind resulting not from a real union of the soul with Christ, 
but resulting merely from understanding and believing the 
doctrines of Christ. The doctrine of Christ as taught in the 
bible was designed to gain for Christ a personal reception to 
dwell within and to rule over us. He that truly believes the 
gospel, will receive Christ as he is presented in the gospel, 
that is, for what he is there asserted to be to his people, in all 
the relations he sustains to our souls, as fast as these relations 
are revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. 

The newly converted soul knows Christ in but few rela- 
tions. He needs trials and experience to develop his weak- 
ness and to reveal to him his multiplied necessities and thus 
lead him to a fuller knowledge of Christ. The new convert 
embraces Christ so far as he knows him, but at first he knows 
but little of his need of him except in his governmental rela- 
tions. Subsequent experience is a condition of his knowing 
Christ in all his fullness. Nor can he be effectually taught 



SANCTIFICATION. 311 

the fulness there is in Christ any faster than his trials devel- 
op his real necessities. If he embraces all he understands 
of Christ, this is the whole of present duty in respect to him; 
but as trials are in his way he will learn more of his own neces- 
sities, and must learn more of Christ and appropriate him in 
new relations, or he will surely fall. 

(55.) Christ is also the Rock of our Salvation: 

Ps. 19: 14: Let the words of my mouth, and the medita- 
tion of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord my 
strength [margin, Rock,] and my Redeemer. 

28: 1: Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not si- 
lent to me: lest if thou be silent to me, I become like them 
that go down into the pit. 

31: 2. Bow down thine ear to me. deliver me speedily, be 
thou my strong rock, for a house of defence to save me. 3. 
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore, for thy 
name's sake, lead me, and guide me. 

42: 9. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou for- 
gotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of 
the enemy? 

61: 2. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, 
when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is 
higher than I. 

73: 26. My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the 
strength [margin, Rock,] of my heart, and my portion for 
ever. 

78: 35. And they remembered that God was their Rock, 
and the high God their Redeemer. 

89: 26. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my 
God, and the Rock of my salvation. 

94: 22. But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the 
rock of my refuge. 

95: 1. O come, let us sing unto the Lord, let us make a 
joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. 

Isa. 17: 10. Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy 
salvation, and hast not been mindful of the Rock of thy 
strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt 
set it with strange slips. 

32: 2. And a man shall be as a hiding place from the 
wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a 
dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. 

It is deeply interesting and affecting to contemplate the 
relations in which Christ revealed himself to the Old Testament 
saints. He is a rock of salvation, a strong hold or place of 



ol'4 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

refuge. In this relation the soul must know him, and must 
take hold of him or take shelter in him. 

(56.) He is also a rock cleft from which the waters of 
life flow. 1 Cor. 10: 14. " And did all drink the same spir- 
itual drink, for they drank of that spiritual Rock that follow- 
ed them, and that Rock was Christ.". As such the soul 
must know and embrace him. 

(57.) He is a Great Rock that is higher than we, rising 
amid the burning sands of our pilgrimage, under the cooling 
shadow of which the soul can find repose and comfort. He 
is like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. To ap- 
prehend Christ in this relation the soul needs to be brought 
into sharp and protracted trials until it is faint and ready to 
sink in discouragement. When the struggle is too severe 
for longer endurance and the soul is on the poyit of giving 
up in despair, then when Christ is revealed as a great rock 
standing for its defense against the heat of its trials, and 
throwing over it the cooling, soothing influence of his protec- 
tion, it finds itself at rest and refreshed, and readily adopts 
the language of a numerous class of passages of scripture, 
and finds itself to have apprehended Christ as inspired men 
apprehended and embraced him. It is truly remarkable that 
in all our experiences we can find that inspired writers have 
had the like, and in every trial and in every deliverance, 
in every new discovery of our emptiness, and of Christ's ful- 
ness we find the language of our hearts most fully and aptly 
expressed in the language of the living oracles. We readily 
discover that inspired men had fallen into like trials, had Christ 
revealed to them in the same relations and had similar exerci- 
ses of mind; insomuch that no language of our own can 
so readily express all that we think and feel and see. 

(58.) He is the Rock from which the soul is satisfied with 
honey. Ps. 81: 16: " He should have fed them also with 
the finest of the wheat; and with honey out of the rock should 
I have satisfied thee." The spiritual mind apprehends this 
language spiritually as it is doubtless really intended to be 
understood. It knows what it is to be satisfied with honey 
from the Rock, Christ. The Divine Sweetness that often re- 
freshes the spiritual mind when it betakes itself to the Rock. 
Christ, reminds it of the words of this passage of scripture. 

(59.) He is the Rock or Foundation upon which the church 
as the temple of the living God is builded. 

Matt. 16: 18. And I say also unto thee. That thou art 
Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the 
gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 



SANCTIFICATION. 313 

Ro. 9: 33. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stum- 
bling stone and a rock of offence; and whosoever believeth 
on him shall not be ashamed. 

1 Pet. 2: 8. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of of- 
fence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobe- 
dient; whereunto also they were appointed. 

He is a sure foundation. He is an eternal rock or the 
rock of ages — the corner stone of the whole spiritual edi- 
fice. But we must build for ourselves upon this rock. It is 
not enough to understand as a tenet, a theory, an opinion, an 
article of our creed, that Christ is the rock in this sense. 
We must see that we do not build upon the sand. Matt. 7: 
26, 27: "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, 
and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, 
which built his house upon the sand; And the rain descended, 
and the floods came, and beat upon that house; and it fell; 
and great was the fall of it." 

(60.) He is the " strength of our heart." He is not only 
our refuge and strength in our conflicts with outward tempta- 
tions and trials in the sense expressed in Ps. 46: 1: u God is 
our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble;" but 
he is also the strength of our heart and our portion forever 
in the sense of Ps. 73: 26: " My flesh and my heart failcth; 
but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever." 
He braces up and confirms the whole inner man in the way 
of holiness. What christian has not at times found himself 
ready to halt and faint by the way. Temptation seems to 
steal upon him like a charm. He finds his spiritual strength 
very low, his resolution weak, and he feels as if he should 
give way to the slighest temptation. He is afraid to expose 
himself out of his closet, or even to remain within it lest he 
should sin. He says with David, "I shall fall by the hand of 
Saul." He finds himself empty — all weakness and trembling. 
Were it not that the strength of his heart interposes in time 
he would doubtless realize in his experience his worst fears. 
But who that knows Christ, has not often experienced his 
faithfulness under such circumstances, and felt an immortal 
awaking, reviving, and strength taking possession of his 
whole being? What spiritual minister has not often dragged 
himself into the pulpit so discouraged and faint as to be 
hardly able to stand, or to hold up his head? He is so weak 
that his spiritual knees smite one against the other. He is 
truly empty, and feels as if he could not open his mouth. 
He sees himself to be an empty vine, an empty vessel, a poor 
27 



314 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

helpless, strengthless infant lying in the dust before the Lord, 
unable to stand, or go, or preach, or pray, or do the least 
thing for Christ. But lo! at this juncture, his spiritual 
strength is renewed. Christ the strength of his heart devel- 
ops his own almightiness within him. His mouth is open. 
He is strong in faith, giving glory to God. He is made at once 
a sharp threshing instrument to beat down the mountains of 
opposition to Christ and his gospel. His bow is renewed in 
his hand and abides in strength. His mouth is opened and 
Christ has filled it with arguments. Christ has girded him 
to the battle and made strong the arms of his hands with 
the strength of the Mighty God of Jacob. 

The same is true of every christian in substance. He has his 
seasons of being empty that he may feel his dependence; and 
anon he is girded with strength from on high, and an immor- 
tal and superhuman strength takes possession of his soul. 
The enemy gives way before him. In Christ he can run 
through a troop, and in his strength he can leap over a wall. 
Every difficulty gives way before him, and he is conscious 
that Christ has strengthened him with strength in his soul. 
The will seems to have the utmost decision, so that temptation 
gets an emphatic no ! without a moment's parley. 

(61.) Christ is he through whom we may reckon ourselves 
dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God. This we are ex- 
horted and commanded to do. That is we may and ought to 
account or reckon ourselves through him as dead unto sin and 
alive unto God. But what is implied in this liberty to reckon 
ourselves dead unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus 
Christ our Lord? Why certainly, 

[1.] That through and in him we have all the provision 
we need, to keep, us from sin. 
[2.] That we may and ought to expect to live without sin. 
[3.] That we ought to account ourselves as having noth- 
ing more to do with sin than a dead man has with the affairs 
of this world. 

[4.] That we may and ought to lay hold on Christ for this 
full and present death unto sin and life unto God. 

[5.] That if we do thus reckon ourselves dead unto sin and 
alive unto God in the true spiritual sense of this text we 
shall find Christ unto our souls all we expect of him in this 
relation. If Christ can not or will not save us from sin, upon 
condition of our laying hold of him and reckoning ourselves 
dead unto sin and alive unto God through him, what right 
had the apostle to say, Reckon yourselves indeed dead unto sin 



SANCTIFICATION. 



315 



and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord? What! 
does the apostle tell us to account or reckon ourselves dead in- 
deed unto sin, and shall D. D.'s tell us that such reckoning or 
expectation is a dangerous delusion! 

Now certainly nothing less can be meant by reckoning our- 
selves dead unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus Christ, 
than that through Christ we should expect to live without 
siiu And not to expect to live without sin through Christ is 
unbelief. It is a rejection of Christ in this relation. Through 
Christ we ought to expect to live to God as much as we expect 
to live at all. He that does not expect this, rejects Christ as 
his sanctification and as Jesus who saves his people from their 
sins. 

The foregoing are some of the relations which Christ sus- 
tains to us as our salvation. I could have enlarged greatly 
as you perceive upon each of these, and easily have swelled 
this part of our course of study to a large volume. J have 
only touched upon these sixty-one relations as specimens of 
the manner in which he is presented for our acceptance in 
the bible and by the Holy Spirit. Do not understand me as 
teaching that we must first know Christ in all these relations 
before we can be sanctified. The thing intended is that 
coming to know Christ in these relations is a condition 
or is the indispensable means of our steadfastness or persever- 
ance in holiness under temptation — that when we are tempted 
from time to time, nothing can secure us against a fall but the 
revelation of Christ to the soul in these relations one after an- 
other, and our appropriation of him to ourselves by faith. The 
gospel has directly promised, in every temptation, to open a 
way of escape so that we shall be able to bear it. The spirit 
of this promise pledges to us such a revelation of Christ as 
to secure our standing, if we will lay hold upon him by faith, 
as revealed. Our circumstances of temptation render it 
necessary that at one time we should apprehend Christ in 
one relation and at another time in another. For example, 
at one time we are tempted to despair by Satan's accusing us 
of sin and suggesting that our sins are too great to be forgiv- 
en. In this case we need a revelation and an appropriation 
of Christ as having been made sin for us; that is, as having 
atoned for our sins — as being our justification or righteous- 
ness. This will sustain the soul's confidence and preserve its 
peace. 

At another time we are tempted to despair of ever over- 
coming our tendencies to sin and to give up our sanctification 



316 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

as a hopeless thing. Now we need a revelation of Christ as 
our sanctification, &c. 

At another time the soul is harassed with the view of the 
great subtlety and sagacity of its spiritual enemies, and great- 
ly tempted to despair on that account. Now it needs to know 
Christ as its wisdom. 

Again, it is tempted to discouragement on account of the 
great number and strength of its adversaries. On such occa- 
sions it needs Christ revealed as the Mighty God, as its strong 
tower, its hiding place, its munition of Rocks. 

Again, the soul is oppressed with a sense of the infinite 
holiness of God and the infinite distance there is between us 
and God on account of our sinfulness and his infinite holi- 
ness, and on account of his infinite abhorrence of sin and sin- 
ners. Now the soul needs to know Christ as its righteous- 
ness, and as a mediator between God and man. 

Again, the christian's mouth is closed with a sense of guilt, 
so that he can not look up nor speak to God of pardon and 
acceptance. He trembles and is confounded before God. 
He lies along on his face, and despairing thoughts roll a tide 
of agony through his soul. He is speechless and can only 
groan out his self-accusations before the Lord. Now as a 
condition of rising above this temptation to despair, he needs 
a revelation of Christ as his Advocate, as his High-Priest, as 
ever living to make intercession for him. This view of 
Christ will enable the soul to commit all to him in this rela- 
tion, and maintain its peace and hold on to its steadfastness. 

Again, the soul is led to tremble in view of its constant 
exposedness to besetments on every side, oppressed with 
such a sense of its own utter helplessness in the presence of 
its enemies as almost to despair. Now it needs to know 
Christ as the Good Shepherd who keeps a constant watch 
over the sheep and carries the lambs in his bosom. He 
needs to know him as a Watchman and a Keeper. 

Again, it is oppressed with a sense of its own utter empti- 
ness, and is forced to exclaim, I know that in me, that is, in 
my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. It sees that it has no life, 
or unction, or power, or spirituality in itself. Now it needs 
to know Christ as the True Vine from which it may receive 
constant and abundant spiritual nourishment. It needs to 
know him as the fountain of the water of life, and in those 
relations that will meet its necessities in this direction. Let 
these suffice as specimens to illustrate what is intended by 
entire or permanent sanctification being] conditioned on the 



SANCTIFICATION. 317 

revelation and appropriation of Christ in all the fulness of 
his official relations. 

It is not intended, as has been said, that Christ must previ- 
ously be known in all these relations before a soul can be 
sanctified at all; but that when tried from time to time, a 
new revelation of Christ to the soul, corresponding to the 
temptation, or as the help of the soul in such circumstances, 
is a condition of its remaining steadfast. This gracious aid 
or revelation is abundantly promised in the bible, and will be 
made in time, so that by laving hold on Christ in the present 
revealed relation, the soul may be preserved blameless, though 
the furnace of temptation be heated seven times hotter than 
it is wont to be. 

In my estimation the church as a body, I mean the nomi- 
nal church, have entirely mistaken the nature and means or 
conditions of sanctification. They have not regarded it as 
consisting in a state of entire consecration, nor understood 
that continual entire consecration was entire sanctification. 
They have regarded sanctification as consisting in the annihi- 
lation of the constitutional propensities instead of the con- 
trolling of them. They have erred equally in regard to the 
means or conditions of entire sanctification. They seem to 
have regarded sanctification as brought about by a physical 
cleansing in which man was passive; or to have gone over to 
the opposite extreme, and regarded sanctification as consist- 
ing in the formation of habits of obedience. The Old School 
have seemed to be waiting for a physical sanctification in 
which they are to be in a great measure passive, and which 
they have not expected to take place in this life. Holding, as 
they do, that the constitution of both soul and body is defiled 
or sinful in every power and faculty, they of course can not 
hold to entire sanctification in this life. If the constitutional 
appetites, passions, and propensities are in fact, as they hold, 
sinful in themselves, why, then the question is settled that en- 
tire sanctification can not take place in this world nor in the 
next, except as the constitution is radically changed, and that 
of course by the creative power of God. The New School 
rejecting the doctrine of constitutional moral depravity and 
physical regeneration and sanctification, and losing sight of 
Christ as our sanctification, have fallen into a self-righteous 
view of sanctification, and have held that sanctification is 
effected by works or by forming holy habits, &c. Both the 
Old and the New School have fallen into egregious errors 
upon this fundamentally important subject. 
27* 



318 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

The truth is, beyond all question, that sanctification is by 
faith as opposed to works. That is, faith receives Christ in 
all his offices and in all the fulness of his relations to the soul; 
and Christ when received, works in the soul to will and to 
do of all his good pleasure, not by a physical, but by a moral 
or persuasive working. Observe, he influences the will. This 
must be by a moral influence, if its actings are intelligent and 
free, as they must be to be holy. That is, if he influences the will 
to obey God, it must be by a Divine moral suasion. The soul nev- 
er in any instance obeys in a spiritual and true sense, except 
it be thus influenced by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. But 
whenever Christ is apprehended and received in any relation, 
in that relation he is full and perfect; so that we are com- 
plete in him. For it hath pleased the Father that in him 
should all fullness dwell; and that we might all receive of his 
fullness until we have grown up into him in all things, ""Until 
we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of 
the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of 
the stature of the fullness of Christ." 



, • •••■ ' i 



* LECTURE LXV. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

VII. Objections answered. 

To the doctrine we have been advocating it is objected 
that the real practical question is not, 

1. Whether this state is attainable on the ground of natu- 
ral ability; for this is admitted. 

2. It is not whether it is rational to hope to make this at- 
tainment, provided we set our hearts upon making it, and per- 
severe in aiming to attain it; for this is admitted. 

3. It is not whether this state is a rational object of pur- 
suit, provided any are disposed to pursue it. But, 

4. Is it rational for christians to hope that they shall 
pursue it, and shall perseveringly set their hearts upon it? Is 
it rational for christians to hope that they shall so endeavor 
to attain it as to fulfil the conditions of the promises wherein it 
is pledged? 

To this I reply, 

(1.) That it makes a new issue. It yields the formerly 
contested ground and proposes an entirely new question. 
Hitherto the question has been, is this state an object of ra- 
tional pursuit, provided any are disposed to pursue it? May 
christians aim at this attainment with the rational hope of 
making it? This point is now yielded, if I understand the 
objection, and one entirely distinct is substituted, namely: Is 
it rational for christians to hope that they shall pursue after 
this attainment? or that they shall aim at and set themselves 
to make this attainment? This, I say, is quite another ques- 
tion than the one heretofore argued. 

It is, however, an important one, and I am quite willing to 
discuss it, but with this distinct understanding that it is not 
the question upon which issue has been heretofore taken. 
This question, as we shall see, calls up a distinct enquiry. 
In this discussion I shall pursue the following outline: 

1. What constitutes hope? 
■ 2. What is implied in a rational hope? 






* 



■> 



' v 



320 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

3. The grounds of rational hope may vary indefinitely in de- 
gree. 

4. Wrong views may inspire an irrational hope. 

5. Wrong views may prevent a rational hope. 

6. Hope is a condition of the attainment in question. 

7. What the objection under consideration admits. 

8. What I understand it to deny. 

9. What it amounts to. 

10. What it must assume in reference to the provisions of grace. 

11. What these provisions are not. 

12. What they are. 

13. What real grounds of hope there are in respect to the ques- 
tion under consideration. 

14. Consider the tendency of denying that there are valid 
grounds of hope in this case. 

1. I am to show what hope is. 

Hope in common parlance, and as I shall use the term in 
this discussion, is not a phenomenon of will, or it is not a 
voluntary state of mind. It includes a phenomenon both of 
the intellect and the sensibility. It is a state of mind com- 
pounded of desire and expectation. Desire alone is not 
hope. A man may desire an event ever so strongly yet if 
he has no degree of expectation that the desired event will 
occur he can not justly be said to hope for it. 

Expectation is not hope, for one may expect an event ev- 
er so confidently, yet if he does not at all desire it, he can not 
be truly said to hope for it. Hope comprehends both 
desire and expectation. There must be some degree of both 
of these to compose hope. 

2. What is implied in a rational hope ? 

(1.) The desire must be reasonable; that is, in accordance 
with reason. The thing desired must be such as reason 
sanctions or approves. If the desire is an unreasonable one 
the fact that there is good ground for expecting the desired 
end will not make the hope rational. The expectation might 
in this case be rational in the sense that there is valid reason 
for the expectation. But expectation alone is not hope. A 
rational hope must include a rational desire or a desire in ac- 
cordance with reason, and a rational expectation, that is, an 
expectation in accordance with reason. 

(2.) The expectation to be rational must have for its founda- 
tion at least some degree of evidence. Hope may be, and 
often is, indulged barely on the ground that the desired event 



SANCTIFICATION. 321 

is possible in the absence of all evidence that it is likely to 
occur. Thus we say of one who is at the point of death, 
^nd whose life is despaired of by all but his nearest friends, 
" where there is life there is hope." When events are so 
greatly desired men are wont to indulge the hope that the 
event will occur, even in the absence of all evidence that it 
will occur, and in the face of the highest evidence that it will not 
occur. But such hope can hardly be said to be rational. 
Hope to be rational must have for its support, not a bare pos- 
sibility that the desired event may occur, but at least some 
degree of evidence that it will occur. This is true of hope 
in general. When an event is conditioned upon the exer- 
cise of our own agency and upon an agency which we are 
able either in our own strength or through grace to exert, it 
may be more or less rational to expect the occurrence of the 
event in proportion as we more or less desire it. Hope in- 
cludes desire; there can be no hope without desire. There 
may be a good ground of hope when there is in fact no hope. 
There may be a reason and a good reason for desire where 
there is no desire. There may be and is good reason for sin- 
ners to desire to be christians when they have no such desire. 
Again, there may be good reason for both desire and expec- 
tation when in fact there is neither. The thing which it is 
reasonable to desire may not be desired, and there may be 
good reason for expecting that an event will occur, when no 
such expectation is indulged. For example, a child may nei- 
ther desire nor expect to comply with the wishes of a parent 
in a given instance. Yet it may be very reasonable for him 
to desire to comply in this instance with parental authority, 
and the circumstances may be such as to afford evidence that 
he will be brought to compliance, and yet there may be in 
this case no hope exercised by the child that he shall comply. 
There may be then a rational ground for hope when there is 
no hope. A thing may be strongly desired and yet the evi- 
dence that it will occur may not be apprehended, and there- 
fore, although such evidence may exist, it may not be perceiv- 
ed by the mind, or the mind may be so occupied with con- 
templating opposing evidence or with looking at discoura- 
ging circumstances as not to apprehend the evidence upon 
which a rational hope may be or might be grounded. 

Again, when the event in question consists in the action 
of the will in conformity with the law of the reason, the 
probability that it will thus act depends upon the states 
of the sensibility or upon the desires. It may therefore be 



322 



SYSTEMATIC TIIEOLOGY. 






more or less rational to expect this conformity of the will to 
the law of the intelligence, in proportion as this state of the 
will is more or less strongly desired. I merely make this 
remark in this place; we shall see its application hereafter. 
I also add in this place that a man may more or less rational- 
ly expect to make the attainment under consideration, that is 
to obtain in this life a complete victory over sin, in proportion 
as he more or less ardently desires it. This we shall see 
hereafter. The indulgence of hope implies existing desire, 
and, as I said, the hope to be rational must have some degree 
of evidence that the thing hoped for will occur. 

3. The grounds of rational hope may vary indefinitely in de~ 
gree. 

I have said that there may be rational grounds of hope 
when there is no hope. A sinner under terrible conviction 
of sin and in present despair, may have grounds and strong 
grounds of hope, while he has no hope. 

Again, the grounds of hope may be more or less strong in 
proportion as hope is more or less strong. For example, an 
event which is dependent upon the exercise of our own agen- 
cy may be more or less likely to occur, in proportion to the 
strength or weakness of our hope that it will occur. Hope 
is compounded as we have said of desire and expectation. 
An event dependent upon our agency may be more or less 
likely to occur in proportion as we desire its occurrence, and 
entertain the confident expectation that it will occur. In 
such a. case, although the evidence may be really but slight 
upon which the expectation is at first founded, yet the very 
fact that the mind has become confident that a strongly de- 
sired event will take place, which event depends upon the 
energetic and persevering exercise of our own agency, I say 
the strength of the confidence as well as the strength of the 
desire may render the event all the more probable and thus 
the grounds of hope may be increased by the increase of 
hope. For it should be remembered that hope is possible and 
common when there are no good grounds for it, and the very 
fact that a hope at present with slight grounds does exist, 
may increase the grounds of rational hope. Suppose, for ex- 
ample, that an Indian in our western forests, who had never 
heard the gospel, should come in some way to have the idea 
and the desire and expectation of finding out a way of salva- 
tion. Now before he had this hope there could not be said to 
have been but slight rational ground for it. But since he 
has the idea, the desire, and the expectation, he may from 



SANCTIFICATION. 



323 



these facts have a rational ground of hope that he shall dis- 
cover a way of salvation. The desire and the expectation 
may render it highly probahle that he will in some manner 
discover the right way. 

Again, the rational ground of hope in respect to at least a 
certain class of events may be greatly increased by the fact 
that there is a present willingness that the desired and ex- 
pected event should occur, and an endeavor to secure it. 
Hope does not necessarily imply a willingness. For example 
a sinner may desire to be converted and he may expect that 
he shall be and yet not at present be willing to be; that is, 
he may conceive rightly of what constitutes conversion or 
turning to God, and he may for the sake of his own salvation 
desire to turn, that is, to turn as a condition of his own sal- 
vation, and he may expect that he shall in future turn; and yet 
he is not by the supposition as yet willing to turn; for willing 
is turning, and if he is willing he has turned already. If the 
event hoped for consists in or is dependent upon future acts 
of our own will, the grounds of hope that the event will oc- 
cur may be indefinitely strengthened by the fact that we have 
the present consciousness of not only hoping for its occur- 
rence, but also that our will or heart is at present set upon it. 

Myriads of circumstances may be taken into the account 
in balancing and weighing the evidence for or against the oc- 
currence of a given event. The event may depend in a great 
measure upon our desires, and when it really does depend 
under God upon our desires, present willingness and efforts, 
the grounds of confidence or of hope must vary as our hopes 
and endeavors vary. There may be, as I have said, ground 
for hope when there is no hope, and the ground of hope may 
he indefinitely increased by the existence of hope. There 
may be a strong hope and a weak hope, strong grounds or 
reasons for hope or weak grounds of hope. When there is 
any degree of present evidence that an event will occur, 
there is some ground of rational hope. 

4. Wrong views may inspire an irrational hope. 

This follows from the nature of hope. A thing may be 
desired — wrong views may inspire confidence or beget ex- 
pectation when there is not the slightest ground for expecta- 
tion. The hope of the Universalist is a striking instance of 
this. The same is true of false professors of religion. They 
desire to be saved. False views inspire confidence that 
they are christians and that they shall be saved. 

5. Wrong views may prseent a rational hope. 



324 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

This is also common, as every one knows. A thing may be 
desired, and there may be the best grounds for confidence or 
expectation, which is an element of hope. But false views 
may forbid the expectation to be entertained. In this case, 
one element of hope exists, that is, desire, but the other, to 
wit, expectation is rendered impossible by erroneous views. 

Again, expectation may exist, yet false views may prevent 
desire. For example, I may expect to see a certain individu- 
al whom, from false impressions respecting him, I have no 
desire to see. It is indispensable to hope that the views be 
such as to beget both desire and expectation, 

6. Hope is a condition of the attainment in question. 

(1.) The attainment implies and consists in the right fu- 
ture exercise of our own agency. 

(2.) The right future exercise of our own agency in res- 
pect to the state in question depends under God or is condi- 
tioned upon the previous use of means to secure that re- 
sult. 

(3.) Those means will never be used unless there is hope; 
that is, unless there is both desire and expectation. If there- 
fore any false instruction shall forbid the expectation of at- 
taining the state in question, the attainment will not be sought, 
it will not be aimed at. There may be ever so good grounds 
or reasons to expect to make this attainment, yet if these 
grounds are not discovered and the expectation is not intelli- 
gent the attainment will be delayed. There must be hope 
indulged in this case as a condition of making this attain- 
ment. 

7. What I understand the objection to admit. 

(1.) That the state in question is a possible state or a pos- 
sible attainment both on the ground of natural ability and 
through grace. 

(2.) That this attainment is provided for in the promises of 
the gospel; that is, that the promises of the gospel proffer 
grace to every believer sufficient to secure him against sin, in 
all the future, on condition that he will believe and appro- 
priate them. 

(3.) That all the necessary means are provided and brought 
within the christian's reach to secure this attainment, and 
that there is no insurmountable difficulty in the way of this 
attainment, provided he is willing and does use these necessa- 
ry means in the required manner. 

(4.) There is rational ground for hoping of making this at- 
tainment if anv will set their heart to make it. 



SANCTIFICA.TION. 325 

(5.) Consequently that this attainment is a rational object 
of pursuit; that is, that it is rational to hope to make it, pro- 
vided we are disposed to make it or to aim to make it. 

8. What I understand the objection to deny. 

1. That it is rational for any christian to hope so to use 
the means as to secure the attainment in question, that is, 
that no christian can rationally hope to exercise such faith, 
and so to use the means of grace and so to avail himself of 
the proffered grace of the gospel, and so to fulfill the condi- 
tions of the promises as to receive their fulfillment and make 
the attainment in question in this life. The objection, as I 
understand it, denies that we can rationally hope by present 
faith and the present use of our powers to render it probable 
that we shall in future use them aright; or in other words the 
objection denies that we can, by any thing whatever that we 
can at present do, gain any evidence, or lay a foundation for 
any rational hope, that in future we shall obey God; or it de- 
nies that our present desire, or will, or faith, or efforts, have 
through grace any such connection with our future state in 
this life as to render it in any degree probable that we shall 
receive the fulfillment of such promises as the following: 1 
Thes. 5: 23, 24: " And the very God of peace sanctify you 
wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body 
be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." 
It denies that it is rational for us to hope by the improve- 
ment of present grace to secure future grace: that it is ra- 
tional for us to expect by a present laying hold on such 
promises as the one just quoted to secure its present or 
its future fulfillment to us. It denies that it is rational for us 
to lay hold of such promises as that just quoted with the ex- 
pectation that they will be fulfilled to us; that is, we can not 
at present do any thing, whatever, however much we may 
will and desire it, that shall render it in the least degree 
probable that these promises will ever be fulfilled to us in 
this life. The objection must proceed upon denying this for 
it is certain that christians do desire this attainment and 
will it too; that is, they will at least that it might be so. If 
all christians do not hope for it, it is because they regard it 
as not attainable. 

9. What the objection really amounts to, 
(1.) That although the promise just quoted is undeniably 
a promise of the very state in question in this life, yet it is 
irrational to hone, by any thing that we can at present do, 
28 



326 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

however much we may at present will and desire it, to secure 
to ourselves either its present or its future fulfillment in this 
life. 

(2.) It amounts to a denial that at any future time during 
this life it will be rational for us to hope by any thing that 
we can at that time do to secure either at that or any other 
time, the fulfillment of the promise to us. 

(3.) It amounts to a denial that we can rationally hope, 
at any time in this life, to believe or do any thing that will ren- 
der it in the least degree probable that this promise will be 
fulfilled to us; that, however much we may at present desire 
and will to secure the thing promised, we can at present or 
at any future time rationally hope to secure the thing promised. 

(4.) It amounts to a denial that it is rational to expect un- 
der any circumstances that this class of promises will ever be 
fulfilled to the saints. 

(5.) The principles assumed and lying at the foundation of • 
this objection must, if sound, prove the gospel a humbug. If 
it is true that by no present act of faith we can secure to us 
the present or the future fulfillment of the promise of entire 
sanctification, I see not why it is not equally, true in respect 
to all the promises. If there is no such connection- between 
our present and future faith and obedience as to render it 
even in the least degree . probable that the promises of per- 
severing grace shall be vouchsafed to us, then what is the . 
gospel but a humbug? Where is the ground of a rational 
hope of salvation? But suppose it should be replied to this 
that in respect to other promises, and especially in respect to 
promises of salvation and of sufficient grace to secure our 
salvation, there is such a connection between present faith 
and future faith and salvation as to render the latter at least 
probable, and as therefore to afford a rational ground of hope 
of perseverance, in such a sense as to secure salvation; but 
that this is not the case with the promises of entire sanctifi- 
cation. Should this be alledged, I call for proof. Observe,. 
I admit the connection contended for as just stated between . 
present faith and obedience, and future perseverance, and fi- 
nal salvation, that the former renders the latter at least 
probable; but I also contend that the same is true in respect 
to the promises of entire sanctification. Let the contrary be 
shown, if it can be. Let the principle be produced, if it can 
be, either from scripture or reason, that will settle and recog- 
nize the difference contended for, to wit, that present faith 
and obedience does lay a rational foundation of hope, that we 



SANCTIFICATION. 



327 



shall persevere to the end of life in such a sense as that we 
shall be saved, and yet that present faith in the promises of 
entire sanctification does not render it in the least degree 
probable that we shall ever receive the fulfillment of those 
promises. Let it be shown if it can be, that the present be- 
lief of certain promises renders it certain or probable that 
they will be fulfilled to us, but that no such connection ob- 
tains in respect to other promises. Let it be shown if it 
can- be, that present faith in the promises of perseverance 
and salvation renders it either certain or probable that these 

. promises will be fulfilled to us, while present faith in the 
promise of entire, sanctification, in this life, renders it neither 
certain nor in the least degree probable that these promises 
will ever, in this life be fulfilled to us. 

Suppose a Calvinist should alledge that the first act of 
faith renders it certain that the new believer will, be saved, 
and therefore- it renders it certain that he will persevere to 

• the end of life, but that the same is not true of promi- 
ses of entire sanctification in this life. I ask for his proof of 
the truth of this assertion; that is, I ask him to prove that 
faith in the latter "promises does not sustain as real and as 
certain a relation to the reception of the thing promised as 
does faith in the former promises. Suppose him to answer 
that God has revealed his design to" save all christians, and 
from hence we know that if they once believe they shall cer- 
tainly persevere and be saved. But in answer to this I ask, 
is it not as expressly revealed as possible, that God will whol- 
ly sanctify all christians, spirit, soul, and body, and preserve 
them blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ? 
The language in 1 Thes. 5: 23, 24, may be regarded either 
as an express promise or as an express declaration: " And 
the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God 
your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless 
unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he 
' that calleth you, who also will do it." Here, observe, Paul 
expressly affirms that God will do it. Now where in the bi- 
ble is there a more express promise or a more express reve- 
lation of the will and design of God than this? No where. 
But suppose it should be replied to this, that if we take this 
view of the subject, it follows that all saints have been whol- 
ly sanctified in this life. I answer, they no doubt have been, 
for there is not a word in the bible of their being sanctified 
in any other life than this, and if they have gone to heaven, 
they were no doubt sanctified wholly in this life. 



328 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

But secondly, it would not follow that they have all been 
wholly sanctified until at or near the close of life, because 
many of them have probably never understood and appropri- 
ated this and similar promises by faith, and consequently have 
failed to realize in their own experience their fulfillment for 
any considerable length of time before their death. The ex- 
act question here is, If the soul at present apprehends and 
lays hold on the promises of entire sanctification in this life, 
is there not as real and as certain a connection between pre- 
sent faith and the future fulfillment of the promise as there is 
between present faith in any other promises, and the future 
fulfillment of those promises. If this is not so, let the con- 
trary be shown, if it can be. The burden of proof lies on 
the objector. If to this any one should reply that present 
faith in any promise does not sustain any such relation to the 
fulfillment of the promise as to render it rational to hope for 
its fulfillment, I answer that if this is so, then the gospel is a 
mere nullity and sheer nonsense. Nay, it is infinitely worse 
than nonsense. 

I will not at present contend that present faith in any promise 
of future good sustains such a relation to its fulfillment that its 
fulfillment to us is ahsolutely certain; but upon this I do in- 
sist that, present faith in any promise of God does render it 
at least in some degree probable that the promise will be ful- 
filled to us, and that therefore we have ground of rational 
hope when we are conscious of desiring a promised blessing, 
and of laying hold by faith upon the promise of it, and of 
setting our hearts upon obtaining it; I say when we are con- 
scious of this state of mind in regard to any promised bles- 
sing, we have rational ground of hope that we shall receive 
the thing promised. And it matters not at all what the bles- 
sing promised is. If God has promised it, he is able to give it, 
and we have no right to say that the nature of the thing promis- 
ed forbids the rational expectation that we shall receive it. It is 
plain that the principle on which this objection is based amounts 
to a real denial of the gospel, and makes all the promises a 

ere nullity. 

10. What this objection must assume in reference to the pro- 
visions of grace. 

(1.) That grace has made no provisions for securing the 
fulfillment of the conditions of the promises. This must cer- 
tainly be assumed in relation to the promises of entire sanc- 
tification in this life; that grace has made no such provisions 
as to render the fulfillment of the conditions of this class of 



SANCTIFICATION. 329 

promises in any degree probable; that the grace of God in 
Jesus Christ does not even afford the least degree of evidence 
that real saints will ever, in this life, so believe those promises 
as to secure the blessing promised; that therefore it is irra- 
tional for the saints to hope through any provisions of grace 
to fulfill the conditions and secure the blessing promised; the 
grace of God is not sufficient for the saints in the sense that 
it is rational for them to hope to so believe the promises of 
entire sanctification as to secure the thing promised. The 
gospel and the grace of God then are a complete failure, so 
far as the hope of living in this life without rebellion against 
God is concerned. His name is called Jesus in vain, so far 
as it respects salvation from sin in this life. There is then no 
rational ground of hope that, by any thing we can possibly 
do while in the present exercise of faith and love and zeal, 
we can render it, through grace, in the least degree probable 
that we shall persevere in seeking this blessing until we have 
fulfilled the condition of the promise and secured the bless- 
ing. Nothing that we can now do, while in faith and love, 
will render it through grace in the least degree probable that 
we shall at any future time believe or do any thing that will 
secure to us the promised blessing. Christians do at present 
desire this attainment and have a heart or will to it. This 
objection must assume that grace has made no such provision 
as to render the hope rational that this desire and will will 
exist in future, do what we may at present to secure it. 

11. What the provisions of grace are not. , 

(1.) Grace has made no provision to save any one without 
entire holiness of heart, 

(2.) It has made no provision to secure holiness without 
the right exercise of our own will or agency, for all holiness 
consists in this. 

(3.) It has made no provision to save any one who will not 
fulfill the conditions of salvation. 

(4.) It has made no provision for the bestowment of irresis- 
tible grace, for the very terms imply a contradiction. A mor-* 
al agent can not be forced or necessitated to act in any given 
manner, and still remain a moral agent. That is, he can not 
be a moral agent in any case in which he acts from necessity. 

(5.) Grace has made no provision to render salvation possi- 
ble without hope; that is, without desire and expectation. 

12. What these provisions are. 

In this place, I can only state what I understand them to 
be; and to avoid much repetition, I must request the reader 
28* 



330 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

to consult foregoing and subsequent lectures where these dif- 
ferent points are developed and discussed at length. 

(1.) God foresaw that all mankind would fall into a state 
of total alienation from him and his government. 

(2.) He also foresaw that by the wisest arrangement, he 
could secure the return and salvation of a part of mankind. 

(3.) He resolved to do so, and u chose them to eternal sal- 
vation' through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the 
truth.' 

(4.) He has instituted a system of means to effect this end ; 
that is, with design to effect it. 

(5.) These means are, 

[1.] The revelation of his law. 

[2.] The atonement and mediatorial work of Christ. 

[3.] The publication of the gospel and the institution of 
all the means of grace. 

[4.] The administration of providential and moral govern- 
ments. 

[5.] The gift and agency of the Holy Spirit to excite in 
them desire, and to work in them to will and to do in so far 
as to secure in them the fulfillment of the conditions, and to 
them the fulfillment of the promises. 

(6.) Grace has made sufficient provisions to render the sal- 
vation of all possible, and such as will actually secure the sal- 
vation of a portion of mankind. 

(7.) Grace has brought salvation so within the reach of all 
who hear the gospel as to leave them wholly without excuse 
if they are not saved. 

(8.) Grace has made the salvation of every human being se- 
cure who can be persuaded by all the influences that God can 
wisely bring to bear upon him to accept the offers of salva- 
tion. 

(9.) Grace has provided such means and instrumentalities as 
will actually secure the conviction, conversion, perseverance, 
entire sanctification, and final salvation of a part of man- 
kind. 

(10.) Grace has not only provided the motives of moral 
government, but the influence necessary to secure the saving 
influence of this government over all the elect. 

(11.) Grace has not only made promises to be fulfilled upon 
certain conditions, but it has provided an influence which 
will, in every case of the elect unto salvation, secure in them 
the fulfillment of the conditions of these promises. 



SANCTIFICATION. 



331 



. (12.) Grace has not only given commands, but has provided 
the requisite influence to secure obedience to them in such a 
sense as to secure the perseverance, sanctification, and full 
salvation of all the elect unto salvation. 

This I understand to be a summary statement of the doc- 
trine of grace as it is taught in the bible. 

13. What are the real grounds of hope in respect to the ques- 
tion now under consideration ? 

Here it is necessary to state again distinctly what is not 
and what is the real question to be decided. 

It is not what christians have hoped upon this subject, for 
they may have entertained groundless expectations and irra- 
tional hopes; or they may have had no hope or expectation 
when there have been good grounds of hope. Let it be dis- 
tinctly understood then, that the true point of inquiry is, 
Have christians a right to expect to obtain in this life a com- 
plete victory over sin? Not, do thej r expect it? But, have 
they a right to indulge such a hope! Provided they have 
such a hope, is it irrational? Or provided they have not 
such a hope, have they good and snflicient ground for such 
hope revealed in the bible? This brings us to inquire what 
are not, and what are the grounds of rational hope. 

(1.) They are not in the mere natural ability of man, for 
the bible abundantly reveals the fact, that if man is left to 
himself, he will never so exert his agency as to comply with 
the conditions of salvation. This is equally true of all men. 

(2.) They are not in the gospel or in the means of grace 
aside from the agency of the Holy Spirit, for the bible reveals 
the fact that no one will ever be sanctified by these means 
without the agency of the Holy Spirit. 

In prosecuting inquiry upon this subject, I remark: 

[L] That the inquiry now before us respects real christians. 
It might be interesting and useful to look into the subject in 
its bearings upon the impenitent world, but this would occupy 
too much time and space in this place. It might be useful 
to inquire what ground of rational hope any sinner may have 
that he shall actually be converted and saved when the gos- 
pel is addressed to him. It certainly can not be denied with 
any show of reason that every sinner to whom the gospel 
call is addressed has some reason to hope that God has de- 
signs of mercy toward him, and that he shall be converted, 
and kept, and sanctified, and saved. He must have some 
ground to hope for this result upon the bare presentation to 
nim of the offers of mercy. He has all the evidence he can 



332 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

ask or desire that God is ready and willing to save him, pro- 
vided that he is willing to accept of mercy and comply with 
the conditions of salvation. So that if he is disposed to ac- 
cept it, he need not raise any question about the grounds of 
hope. There is nothing in his way but his own indisposition: 
if this is removed, he may surely hope to be saved. But the 
offers of mercy also afford some ground of hope that the Ho- 
ly Spirit will strive with him and overcome his reluctance, so 
that he may rationally hope to be converted. 

The ground of this hope may be more or less strong in 
the case of sinners as they find the providence and Spirit of 
God working together for the accomplishment of this result. 
If, for example, the sinner finds, in addition to the offers of 
salvation by the word of the gospel, that the Holy Spirit is 
striving with him, convincing him of sin and trying to induce 
him to turn and live, he has of course increased grounds for 
the hope that he shall be saved. 

But as I said the inquiry now before us respects the grounds 
of hope in christians. 

[2.] I remark that christians, of course from the very na- 
ture of their religion, have come strongly to desire a com- 
plete and lasting victory over sin. I need not in this place 
attempt to prove this. 

[3.] Christians not only desire this, but in fact so far forth 
as they are christians, they will to obtain this victory. That 
is, when they have the heart of a child of God, and are in a 
state of acceptance with him, they will to render to God a 
present, full, universal, and endless obedience. This is im- 
plied in the very nature of true religion. 

[4.] The inquiry before us respects future acts of will. 
The state under consideration consists in an abiding conse- 
cration to God. The christian is at present in this state, and 
the inquiry respects his grounds of hope that he shall ever 
attain to a state in this life in which he shall abide steadily 
and uniformly in this state, and go no more into voluntary re- 
bellion against God. Has grace made no such provisions as 
to render the hope rational that we shall in this life ever 
cease to sin? Or has it pleased God to make no such provis- 
ions, and are we to expect to sin as long as we live in this 
world? Has the christian any rational ground for a hope 
that he shall be sanctified in this life; that is, that he shall 
obtain a complete and final victory over sin in this life? The 
question here is, not whether christians do hope for this, but r 
may they rationally hope for this? Have they good reason 



SANCTIFICATION. 



333 



for such a hope, did they apprehend or understand this 
ground? They have desire, which is an element of hope — 
have they grounds for a rational expectation? I do not here 
inquire whether they do expect it, but whether they have 
good and valid reason for such an expectation? Is the diffi- 
culty owing to a want in the provisions of grace, or in amis- 
conception of these provisions? Some christians do hope for 
this attainment. Are they mad and irrational, or have they 
good reason for this hope? 

In replying to these inquiries, I remark, that the Holy 
Spirit is given to the saints for the express purpose revealed 
in such passages as the following: 1 Thes. 5: 23, 24: "And 
the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God 
your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless 
unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he 
that calleth you, who also will do it." With this and similar 
promises and express declarations in his hands, is it rational 
or irrational in him to expect to receive the fulfillment of such 
promises? If it be answered that these promises are condi- 
tioned upon his faith, and it is irrational for him to hope to ful- 
fill the condition, I reply that the Holy Spirit is given to him 
and abides in him to draw him into a fulfillment of the con- 
ditions of the promises. It is nowhere so" much as hinted in 
the bible that the Holy Spirit will not do this until the close 
of life. Obesrve that this is the very office work of the 
Spirit to work in us to fulfill the conditions of the promises 
of entire sanctification, and thus to secure this end. His 
business with and in us is to procure our entire sanctification; 
and, as I said, there is not so much as a hint in the bible that 
he does not desire or design to secure this before death. 
Now, suppose we lay aside all knowledge of facts in relation 
to the past experience of the church and look into the bible. 
From reading this, would any man get the t idea that God did 
not expect, desire, and intend that saints should obtain an 
entire victory over sin in this life? When* we read suca 
promises and declarations as abound in the bible, should we 
not see rational ground for hope that we shall obtain a com- 
plete victory over sin in this life? 

But here it may be said that the past history of the church 
shows what are the real promises of grace; that grace has 
not in fact secured this attainment at least to a great part of 
the church until at or near the close of life, and therefore 
grace in fact made no provision for this attainment in their 
case. 



334 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

But if this objection has any weight, it proves equally that 
grace has made in no case any provision for any one's being 
any better than he really is and has been, and that it had 
been irrational in any one to have expected to be any better 
than in fact he has turned out to be. If he had at any time 
expected to be any better at any future time than he turned 
out to be, this, upon the principle of the objection in question, 
would prove that he had no rational ground for the expecta- 
tion: that grace, in fact, had made no such provision as to 
render any such hope rational. If this be true, we shall all 
see when we get into the eternal world that in no case could 
we have indulged a rational hope of being any better than we 
have been, and that when we did indulge any such hope we 
had no ground for it. 

But again, if what the church has been settles the question 
of what it is rational for her to hope in time to be, why then 
we must dismiss the hope of any improvement. This object- 
ion proves too much, therefore it proves nothing. 

But again, since the Holy Spirit is given to and abides in 
christians for the very purpose of securing their entire and 
permanent sanctification, and since there is no intimation in 
the bible that this work is to be delayed until death, but on 
the contrary express declarations and promises, that as fully 
and expressly as possible teach the contrary, it is perfectly 
rational to hope for this, and downright unbelief not to ex- 
pect it. What can be more express to this point than the 
promises and declarations that have been already quoted up- 
on this subject? 

Now the question is, not whether these promises and dec- 
larations have inspired hope, but might they not reasonably 
have done so? The question is not whether these promises 
have been understood and relied upon, but might they not 
reasonably have inspired confidence that we should, or that 
they should gain a complete and lasting victory over sin in 
this life? Do not let us be again diverted by the objection 
that the provisions of grace and what is rational to hope is 
settled by what has been accomplished. We have seen that 
this objection is not valid. 

Desire has existed, why has not expectation also existed? 
We shall see in its place. I said that the bible represents 
the design of God to be to wholly sanctify christians in this 
life and nowhere so much as intimates that. this work is not to 
be complete in this life. Let such passages as the following 
be consulted upon this question: Titus 2: 11 — 14: "For the 



SANCTIFICATION. 335 

grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all 
men, 12. Teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly 
lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this 
present world; 13. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glo- 
rious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, 
14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all 
iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous 
of good works. 1 ' This passage teaches that this state is 
to be expected; it also teaches that it is to be expected 
before death, verse 12; that Christ gave himself to secure 
this result, verse 14. The chapter concludes with this direc- 
tion to Titus, " These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke 
with all authority. Let no man despise thee." Now sup- 
pose Titus to have taught as some now teach, that it is dan- 
gerous error to hope to live in this life according to the teach- 
ing of this passage. Suppose he had told them that although 
Christ had given himself expressly to secure this result, yet 
there was no rational ground of hope that they would ever 
do this in this present evil world; would he have complied 
with the spirit of the apostle's injunction in verse 15? 

Again, the thing spoken of in this passage is no doubt a 
state of entire sanctitication in the sense that it implies a 
complete victory over sin in this present evil world. 

Again: 2 Cor. 6: 17, 18. u Wherefore, come out from 
among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch 
not the unclean thing: and 1 will receive you, and will be a 
Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, 
saith the Lord Almighty." Now in view of these promises, 
the apostle immediately adds the following injunction, 7: 1. 
w Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us 
cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, 
perfecting holiness in the fear of God." Did the apostle 
think it irrational to expect or hope to make this attainment 
in this life? Suppose he had added to the injunction just 
quoted, that it was dangerous for them to expect to make the 
attainment which he exhorted them to make. Suppose he 
had said, you have no right to infer from the promises I have 
just quoted that it is rational in you to hope to make this at- 
tainment in this life. But suppose the Corinthians to have 
inquired, Do not these promises relate to this life? Yes, says 
the apostle. And does not your injunction to perfect holiness 
in the fear of God relate to this life? Yes. Did you not utter 
this injunction seeing that we have the promises? Yes. Is it 



336 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, 



not rational, seeing we have these promises, to hope to avail 
ourselves of them, and to perfect holiness in the fear of God 
in this life? Now suppose that to this last question the apos- 
tle had answered, No. Would not this have placed the apos- 
tle and the promises and his injunction in a most ridiculous 
light? To be sure it would. Would not any honest mind 
feel shocked at such an absurdity? Certainly. 

Again: 1 Thes. 5: 23 24: "And the very God of peace 
Sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and 
soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also 
will do it." Now suppose that immediately upon making this 
declaration, the apostle had added, you can not rationally 
hope that God will do what I have just expressly affirmed 
that he will do. 

Suppose he had said the declaration in the 24th verse is 
only a promise, and made upon a condition with which you 
can not rationally hope to comply, and therefore, as a matter 
of fact, you can not rationally hope to be sanctified wholly 
and preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. How shocking and ridiculous would such a prayer, 
with such a promise, accompanied with such a conclusion, ap- 
pear. 

Again, a christian is supposed not only to desire to make 
this attainment, but also to be at present willing to make it, 
and at present to have his heart set upon obedience to God, 
and upon attaining to such a degree of communion with God 
as to abide in Christ and sin no more. 

A christian is supposed at present to be disposed to make 
this attainment; not only to desire it, but also to will it. Now 
may he rationally aim at it and rationally intend or hope to 
make this attainment? or must he calculate to sin so long as 
he lives, and is it irrational for him to expect or hope to have 
done with rebelling against God, and with unbelief and ac- 
cusing him of lying as long as he lives? 

If he is at present desirous and willing to have done with 
sin, is it rational for him to hope by any means within his 
reach, and which he is at present disposed to use, to attain a 
state in which he shall have a permanent victory over sin, in 
which he shall abide in Christ in such a sense as to have done 
with rebellion against God. By present willingness, desire 
and effort, is it rational for him to hope to secure a future de- 
sire and willingness, and an abiding state of heart-conformi- 
ty to God? Are there any means within his reach and which 



SANCTIFICATION. 



337 



he" can at present, while he has the will and desire, rationally 
hope so to use them as to secure to him either at present or 
at some future time in this life, a complete and lasting victory 
over sin? May he hope through present faith to secure fu- 
ture faith? through present love, and faith, and effort, to se- 
cure future faith and love and successful effort? For it is 
not contended by me that the christian will or can ever stand 
fast in the will of God without effort. This I have sufficient- 
ly insisted on. The question is exactly this, May a christian, 
who is conscious of being at present willing to attain and de- 
sirous of attaining a state of abiding consecration to God in 
this life, rationally hope to make such an attainment? Has 
the grace of God made any such provision as to render such a 
hope rational? Not, can he rationally hope to make it with- 
out desire and effort; but with both present desire and effort? 
Not whether he could rationally hope to make such an attain- 
m ent if he is at present neither willing nor desirous to make it, 
but whether provided he at present has both the will and de- 
sire, he may rationally hope to secure so rich an anointing 
of the Holy Spirit, and to be so thoroughly baptized into the 
death of Christ as to remain thereafter in a state of abiding 
consecration to God? 

I care not to speculate upon abstractions and upon the 
grounds of hope where there is neither desire nor will; that 
is, where there is no religion. But I have been amazingly 
anxious myself to have the question here put answered in 
relation to myself, and I know that many others are intense- 
ly anxious to have this question answered. Must I always 
expect to be overcome by temptation? May I not rationally 
hop e to obtain a permanent victory over sin in this life ? Must 
I carry with me the expectation of going more or less fre- 
quently into rebellion against God so long as I live? Is 
there no hope in the case? Has grace made no such provi- 
sion that it is rational for me, in this state of intense interest 
and anxiety, to hope for complete deliverance from the over- 
coming power of sin in this life? Is there no foundation any 
where upon which I can build a rational hope that I shall 
make this attainment? Are all the commands and exhorta- 
tions, and promises, and declarations in the bible touching 
this subject, a humbug? Are they no warrant for the ex- 
expectation in question? May I never rationally expect to 
be more than a conqueror in this life? Must I expect to suc- 
cumb to Satan ever and anon, so long as I live, and is every 
other expectation irrational? 
29 



338 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

The IIolv Spirit is given to christians, to abide with and in 
them, for the express purpose of procuring their entire sancti- 
fication in this life. It is said Ro. 8: 2(5, 27: "Likewise the 
Spirit also helpcth our infirmities: for we know not what we 
should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh in- 
tercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 
And he that.searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind 
of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints 
according to the will of God." Now it is a fact that the Ho- 
ly Spirit often stirs up, in the souls of all christians, intense 
desire for this attainment. He as manifestly begets within 
them a longing for this attainment as he does for ultimate 
salvation. Now why is it not as rational to expect the one 
as the other? Their ultimate salvation they do expect, and 
receive the drawings of the Spirit after the grace of perse- 
verance as an earnest or evidence that God intends to secure 
their perseverance and salvation. They regard it as rational 
to indulge this desire excited by the Holy Spirit and to hope 
for the thing which they desire. The thing is promised, and 
they feel stirred up to take hold on these promises. Now it is 
perfectly rational to hope for the fulfillment of them. 

And is not the same true of the promises of entire sanctifi- 
cation in this life? These are among the most full and express 
promises in the bible. The Holy Spirit excites in all chris- 
tians the most earnest desire for the thing promised. Now 
why is it not rational to hope for the thing which we desire? 
I do not here say that all do hope for it. All christians do 
desire it; this is one element of hope; but why do not all en- 
tertain the expectation of making this attainment, and thus 
hope for it? Is it because there is no rational ground of hope? 
But why is there not? It is expressly promised. God has no 
where intimated that it is not his design to fulfill this class of 
promises. The Spirit leads us to pray for it. Now would it 
be rational to believe that these promises will be fulfilled to 
us? Why not? The difficulty and the only difficulty that 
can exist in this case is that human speculation and false 
teaching have forbidden confidence or expectation, so that 
while there is intense desire, there is no real hope indulged 
of receiving the blessing. The blessing is delayed because 
there is no hope. There is ground of hope, but false teach- 
ing has forbidden hope to be indulged. The church are told 
by men in high places that such a hope is irrational. Thus 
the Holy Spirit is resisted, and grieved and, quenched, when 
he is striving to inspire hope that this blessing will be ob- 
tained. This is just as the devil would have it. 



SANCTXFICA.TION. 



339 



The fact is there are precisely as good ground for the hope 
of obtaining a complete victory over sin in this life, as^ there 
are for the hope of perseverance and salvation. But in one 
case these grounds are recognized and acknowledged, and in 
the other they are denied. In one case the hope is encour- 
aged by teachers, and in the other it is discouraged. But 
there is not, that I can see, the least ground for this distinc- 
tion. If there is ground for the one hope, so is there for the 
other. Suppose the ground for hope in both cases were de- 
nied as it is in one, what would be the result? 

But again: Has grace established any such connection be- 
tween the present belief of the promises, and their fulfillment 
as to render it certain, or in any degree probable that they 
will be fulfilled to us? 

I have already said that the objection we are considering 
must proceed upon the assumption that there is no such con- 
nection. 

But let us look at this. 

Suppose that God has expressly promised any blessing 
whatever, upon condition that I believe the promise. I am 
led by the Holy Spirit to a present laying hold by faith upon 
that promise. Now, does not this render it rational in me to 
hope that I shall receive the thing promised? If not, why 
not? Is it replied that a farther condition of the promise is 
that I persevere in faith and in the use of the appropriate 
means, and I have no ground for ralional hope that I shall 
continue to believe and to use the means? Then the fact that 
the Holy Spirit at present stirs me up to present faith affords 
no degree of evidence that he will continue to do so, and the 
fact that I at present lay hold of the promise, does not afford 
the least reason for the hope that I shall keep hold and use 
the means in any such sense as to secure the blessing prom- 
ised. Well, if this were so, the bible w r ere the greatest hum- 
bug that was ever palmed upon mankind. 

The fact is, there must be at least a connection of high 
probability if not of certainty between the present actual 
belief of the promise, and the future fulfillment of them to us, 
or the bible and the whole gospel is nonsense. 

But again: I say that this is as true of the promises of 
entire sanctification in this life, as of any other promises 
whatever. If it is not, I say again, let the contrary be 
shown if it can be. 

But again: When Christians are stirred up by the Holy 
Spirit to lay hold upon any class of promises in prayer and 



340 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

faith they have good ground for the hope that it is the design of 
God to grant the blessing promised them. Now it is plainly in 
accordance with the revealed will of God that christians should 
he wholly sanctified and kept from sin. And suppose the 
Holy Spirit stirs up the soul to great longings and wrestlings 
for complete deliverance from sin, and to plead and believe 
such promises as the following: 

1 Thes. 6: 23: And the very God of peace sanctify you 
wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body 
he preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. 24. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will 
do it. 

Jer. 31: 31: Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I 
will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with 
the house of Judah; 32. Not according to the covenant that 
I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the 
hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt, (which my 
covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, 
saith the Lord;) 33. But this shall be the covenant that I 
will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith 
the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it 
in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my 
people. 34. And they shall teach no more every man his 
neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, 
for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the great- 
est of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, 
and I will remember their sin no more. 

32: 40: And I will make an everlasting covenant with 
them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; 
but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not de- 
part from me. 

Eze. 36: 25: Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, 
and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from ail 
your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give 
you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take 
away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a 
heart of flesh. 27. And I will put my Spirit within you, and 
cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judg- 
ments, and do them. 

Ro. 5: 12: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so 
might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by 
Jesus Christ our Lord. 

6: 11 : Like wise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead in- 
deed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our 



SANCTIFICATION. 



341 



Lord. 14. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for yc 
are not under the law, but under grace. 

1 Thes. 4:3: For this is the will of God, even your sanc- 
tification. 

If the Holy Spirit perform his work in the soul according 
to Ro. 8: 26, 27: "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infir- 
mities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; 
but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings 
which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts 
knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh 
intercession for the saints according to the will of God;" I 
say, if the Holy Spirit leads christians to pray for the fulfill- 
ment of such promises as those just quoted, and to believe 
those promises, have they no reasonable ground for the hope 
that the blessing will be granted? Indeed they have the best 
of reasons for such an expectation. 

Suppose it be objected that many christians have been led 
thus to pray, who have not received the blessing sought. I 
answer, that it remains to be proved that they were led by the 
Holy Spirit to plead any promise in faith, where they have not 
received, or will not receive an answer according to the true 
sprit and meaning of the promise which they plead and believ- 
ed. Suppose they may have thought at some time, or that they 
have often thought that they had become so established that 
they should sin no more, and that the event has proved that 
they were mistaken; this does not prove that it is irrational 
for them to expect that their prayers shall yet be fully an- 
swered. Suppose a parent is led by the Holy Spirit to pray 
in faith for the conversion of a child, and that this child ap- 
pears if you please, from time to time to be converted, but 
that the event shows that he was mistaken; that is, that he 
was not truly converted; this is no reason for his despairing 
of his conversion. He is still warranted to hope, and is 
bound, if he is conscious of having prayed in faith for his 
conversion, still to expect his conversion, and to use the ap- 
propriate means to secure this result. Just so, if a christian 
has been led to plead the promises of deliverance from all sin, 
for example, such an one as 1 Thes. 5: 23,24: "And the 
very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God 
your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless 
unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he 
that calleth you, who also will do it;" I say if any saint on 
earth is conscious of being or having been led to pray in 
faith for the fulfillment of this promise, he is warranted to ex- 
29* 



342 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

pect its fulfillment to him according to its true spirit and 
meaning; and this he is bound to expect, although he may 
have supposed that he had entered upon this state, and found 
himself mistaken a hundred times. The fact that he has not 
yet received the fulfillment of the promise in extenso, no more 
proves that he will not, than the delay in the case of the 
promise that Abraham should have a son, proved that it was 
irrational in him to expect the promise to be fulfilled to him. 
It has been objected that it was irrational to expect to attain 
to a state in this life in which we should sin no more, because 
many have supposed they had made the attainment and 
found at length that they were mistaken. But there is no 
force in this objection. Suppose this is granted, what then? 
Does this prove that the prayer of faith will not be answer- 
ed? Suppose many such mistakes have been made; does 
this disprove the word of God? In no wise. God will still 
fulfil his promises, and " is not slack concerning them as some 
men count slackness." If such a promise has been plead in 
faith, heaven and earth shall pass away before the answer 
shall fail. But suppose it should be allcdged that evidence is 
wanting that any ever did or will plead those promises in 
faith. To this I answer, that the soul may be as conscious 
of exercising faith in these promises, as it is of its own ex- 
istence; and although one might think he believed, when he 
did not, still it would be true, that when one actually did be- 
lieve, he would know and be sure of it. 

Many christians can as confidently affirm that they plead 
these promises in faith, as that they are christians. Now, is 
it irrational for them to expect the fulfillment of them? No 
indeed, any more than it is irrational to expect to be saved. 
If the one expectation is irrational, so is the other. 

Will it be replied, that the one is less probable than the 
other? I ask, what have probabilities to human view to do 
with rendering it irrational to believe God and expect him to 
fulfill his word? Suppose it is less likely to human view that 
we shall ever, in this life, arrive at a point in christian attain- 
ment, beyond which we shall sin no more, than it is that we 
shall ultimately be saved: I say, suppose this to be granted, 
what then? Can not God as truly, and, so far as we know, as 
easily secure the one as the other? It may be that God fore- 
sees that the final salvation of some or of many souls turns 
altogether upon the fact that such a work be accomplished 
upon them as shall settle and confirm them in obedience be- 
fore certain trials overtake them. 



SANCTIFICATION. 343 

But suppose, again, it be said that few or none have given 
evidence of this attainment before death, and yet many have 
been saved: there is therefore little or no reason to believe 
that the elect are entirely sanctified in this life. I answer, 
that it is certain from the bible that the saints are sanctified 
wholly in this life; that is, at some period in this life. 

I have no doubt, though I do not expect this to have weight 
with an objector, that great multitudes have been sanctified 
and preserved agreeably to 1 Thess. 5: 23, 24. "And the 
very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your 
whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto 
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that 
calleth you, who also will do it." 

But again, I say that the past experience and observation of 
the church, whatever it may be in respect to the subject under 
consideration^ not the test of what it is reasonable to expect 
in future. If it is, it is unreasonable to expect any improve- 
ment in the state of the church and the world. If past ex- 
perience is to settle the question of what it is rational to ex- 
pect in future, then at no period of the church's past history, 
was it rational to expect any improvement in her condition. 
It is not to past experience, but to the promises and the revealed 
design of God and to the Holy Spirit, that we are to look 
for a ground of rational hope in regard to the future. 

I suppose that it will not be denied by any one, that most 
christians might rationally hope to be indefinitely better 
than they are; that is, to be much more stable than they are. 
But if they might rationally hope to be much better than 
they are, on what ground can they rationally hope for this? 
The ground of this hope must be the indwelling and influ- 
ence of the Holy Spirit; that "exceeding great and precious 
promises are given to us whereby we may be made partakers 
of the Divine Nature and escape the corruptions which are 
in the world through lust;" that the Holy Spirit is struggling 
within us to secure in us the fulfillment of the conditions of 
those promises, and therefore we may reasonably hope to 
make indefinitely higher attainments in this life than we have 
yet made: I say, I suppose that no christian will deny this. 
But some of these promises expressly pledge the state of 
entire sanctification in this life. This is not only true in fact, 
but is plainly implied in the saying of Peter just quoted. 
Observe Peter says, 2 Peter 1:4; " Whereby are given unto 
us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye 
might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the 



344 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

corruption that is in the world through lust." This plainly 
implies that those promises cover the whole ground of entire 
sanctification. Now with such promises in our hands, why 
should it be thought unreasonable to hope for entire and per- 
manent victory over sin in this world any more than it is ir- 
rational to hope for indefinite improvement in this life? Will 
it be said that it is easier to keep us from sin generally than 
uniformly. But who can know that God can not as easily 
give us a complete victory, as to suffer us to sin, and then re- 
cover us again? At any rate the promises of entire sanctifi- 
cation are made, and it is just as rational, that is, just as 
truly rational to expect them to be fulfilled to us, and to ex- 
pect that we shall be led to fulfill the conditions of them, as 
that we shall fulfiil the conditions of the promises of perse- 
verance. If there be not the same degree of reason to hope 
for one as for the other, still there is real ground of rational 
hope in both cases. This can not reasonably be denied. It 
is therefore rational to hope for both. 

Now the fact is that christians find themselves disposed to 
attain this state. If they are disposed to aim at it and to 
pray and struggle for such a victory, is it rational for them to 
expect or hope to obtain such a victory? The question is 
not really whether it is rational to hope that christians will be 
disposed to attain this state. The fact of their being chris- 
tians implies that they arc thus disposed; and the inquiry is, 
being thus disposed, is it rational for them to expect to make 
the attainment? I answer, yes. It is perfectly rational for 
any and every christian who finds himself disposed to aim at 
and struggle after this state, to expect to obtain the blessing 
which he seeks; and every christian is drawn by the Holy 
Spirit to desire this attainment. He has in the very fact 
of his being led to desire and pray after it, and to pray and 
struggle after a complete and lasting victory over sin, the 
best of evidence that he may rationally expect to make the 
attainment. It is just as rational to expect this under such 
circumstances, as it is to expect to persevere to the end of 
life in grace; or as rational as it is to expect to make indefi- 
nitely higher advances in holiness. If it is rational to hope 
to make indefinitely higher attainments than we have made 
because of, or upon the conditions of the promises, and of 
the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to stir us up to fulfill the 
conditions of the promises, it is just as rational to hope for 
a permanent victory over sin upon the same conditions. If 
the Holy Spirit leads on to indefinitely higher attainments, it 



SANCTIFICATION. 



345 



is rational to expect to make them. If he leads on to the 
fulfillment of the conditions of the promises of complete and 
permanent victory over sin, it is just as rational to expect to 
attain this state as it is to expect to make indefinite advances 
toward it. 

How can this be denied? I can not see why one expecta- 
tion should be irrational, if the other is not. 

Now observe, the question respects acts of will. Religion, 
as we have seen, consists in the consecration of the will or 
heart to God. A christian is supposed to have consecrated 
his heart and himself to God. The will is influenced either by 
light in the intelligence or by the impulses of the sen- 
sibility. Selfishness or sin consists in the will's being govern- 
ed by the desires, appetites, passions or propensities of the 
sensibility. Temptation finds its way to and exerts its influ- 
ence upon the will through the sensibility. Now can a chris- 
tian expect or rationally hope by aiming to do so, to attain 
to such a state of mind, that he shall be no more overcome by 
temptation and led into sin? 

We have seen that the end upon which benevolence fixes 
is the highest good of being in general. This is the chris- 
tian's ultimate end or intention. We have also seen that the 
elements of this intention are, 

(1.) Entireness; that is, the whole will or heart is devoted 
to this end. 

(2.) Present time; that is, the soul enters now, and at pres- 
ent makes this consecration. 

(3.) The consecration is designed to be entire, and ever- 
lasting; that is, the consecrated soul does not enlist as an exper- 
iment nor for a limited time, but true consecration or devotion 
to God is comprehensive, so far as present intention goes, of 
all the future. This consecration to be real is comprehensive 
of all future duration, and of all space. That is, the soul in 
the act of true consecration enlists in the service of God for 
life, to be wholly God's servant in all places, at all times, and 
to all eternity. These are the true elements of all accepta- 
ble consecration to God. The soul in the act of consecra- 
tion makes no reserves of time, or place, or powers:' all are 
surrendered to God. It does not intend nor expect to sin at 
the moment of consecration. It fully intends to be and re- 
main wholly the Lord's. It chooses the great end upon 
w T hich benevolence fixes, and designs to relinquish it no more 
forever. But experience teaches the christian his own weak- 
ness, and that if left to himself, he is easily overcome by 



346 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

temptation. His sensibility has been so little developed in its 
relations to eternal realities; his will has so long been in the 
habit of being led by the feelings and desires of the sensibili- 
ty, that when the propensities are strongly excited, he finds 
to his confusion and unspeakable grief that he is weak, and 
that if left to himself, he invariably yields to temptation, or 
that he is at least very liable to do so, and that he frequently 
sins. Now the question is, Is there no ground of rational 
hope that he may attain such an established state as uniform- 
ly to have the victory over temptation? Is there no ground 
of rational hope in this respect until after this life? Has grace 
made no such provision as to render it rational in the true 
saints to expect or hope to gain so complete a victory that Rom. 
5: 21, shall be realized in their own experience: 4C That as 
sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through 
righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord;" 
Also 6: 14: "- For sin shall not have dominion over you, for 
ye are not under law but under grace." Also, Thess. 5: 23, 
24: iL And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I 
pray God your whole soul, and body, be preserved blameless 
unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; Faithful is he 
thatcalleth you, who also will do it." Also, Jeremiah 32: 40: 
" And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I 
will not turn away from them, to do them good, but I will put 
my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." 
Also, Col., 4: 12: M That you may stand perfect and complete 
in all the will of God." I say the true question is, Is there no 
hope for the christian that these and such like pasages shall be 
fulfilled to him, and realized in his own experience in this 
life? Can he not rationally hope that the developements of 
his sensibility may be so corrected, that he may be thor- 
oughly and constantly enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and 
enjoy so constant and so deep an anointing, may be so 
baptised into Christ and made so thoroughly acquainted 
with him in his various offices and relations as to break effec- 
tually and permanently, the power of temptation, and so con- 
firm the soul in its consecration as that, through the in- 
dwelling of Christ by his Spirit, he shall be more than con- 
queror in every conflict with the world, the flesh, and Satan? 
Is there no hope? This is the agonizing inquiry of every 
soul who has felt the galling and fascinating power of temp- 
tation. Observe, in the case supposed, the soul is at present 
willing and deeply solicitous to avoid all sin in future. Thus 
far grace has prevailed; the soul has committed itself to God. 



SANCTIFICATION. 347 

Is there no hope that it can abide in this state of committal? 
Is it irrational for it, in the midst of its anxieties to stand fast 
forever, to hope that it shall ever in this life find itself practi- 
cally able to do so? If not, what do the scriptures mean? If 
1 may not rationally hope to stand in every hour of tempta- 
tion what can this passage mean? 1st Cor., 10: 13: "There 
hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, 
but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted 
above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make 
a way to escape, that ye ma}' be able to bear it.' 1 Does this 
only mean that we shall have the natural ability to bear 
temptation? Does it not mean that such Divine help shah be 
vouchsafed as that we may rationally hope and expect to 
stand in the hour of trial? Indeed it does. 

There certainly is not in the philosophy of mind any thing 
to forbid the entertaining of a rational hope of making the 
attainment in question; but on the contrary, every thing 
both in the Bible and the philosophy of mind to warrant such 
an expectation. The mind only needs to be brought into 
such a state of developement and to be so constantly under 
the influence of Divine illumination as to set the Lord always 
before it, and as to have the sensibility duly developed in its 
relations to divine things, to secure the uniform action of 
the will in conformity with the law of God. 

The great difficulty with all classes of unsanctified persons 
is that their desires are too strong for their reason. That is, 
their sensibility is so developed that their excited propensities 
control their will in opposition to the law of God as it is re- 
vealed in the reason. Now if a counter developement can 
be effected that shall favor instead of oppose the right ac- 
tion of the will, it will break .the power of temptation and let 
the soul go free. If desires to please God, if desires after 
spiritual objects shall be developed, if the sensibility shall be 
quickened and drawn to God, and to all spiritual truths 
and realities, these desires instead of tending to draw the 
will away from God, will tend to confirm the will in its con- 
secration to God. In this case the desires going in the same 
direction with the reason, the power of temptation is broken. 
The sensibility in this case rather favors the right action of 
the will. That such a developement of the sensibility is need- 
ed and possible, every christian knows. 

That the Holy Spirit, by enlightening the mind, often 
creates the most intense desires after God and univer- 
sal and unalterable holiness, is a matter of common experi- 



348 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

cnce. It is a matter of common experience that while those 
desires continue, the soul walks in unbroken consecration to 
and communion with God. It is when counter desires are 
awakened, and the feelings and emotions toward God and 
divine things are quenched and suppressed, that the will is 
seduced from its allegiance. Now there is, there can be, 
nothing in the philosophy of mind to forbid the hope of at- 
taining to such a state of development of the sensibility that 
it shall become as it were dead to every object that tends to 
draw the heart from God, and so alive to God as to respond 
instantly to truth and light, and as to be mellow and ten- 
der towards God and Christ and divine things as the apple 
of the eye. When this is effected, it is perfectly philosophi- 
cal to look for permanent consecration of will to God in obe- 
dience not to the sensibility, but in obedience to the reason. 
The feelings are then such that the reason demands their in- 
dulgence, and that the objects upon which they fasten shall 
be sought. The whole mind is then going forth in one di- 
rection. Observe, I do not say that it is impossible for the 
will to abide steadfast in opposition to the feelings, desires, 
and emotions; but I do say, that all experience proves that 
until the sensibility is developed in its relations to God and 
divine realities, the steady and undeviating action of the will 
in its devotion to God can not be depended upon. Now the 
great work of the Holy Spirit in the soul consists, at least 
very much, in so enlightening the mind in respect to God and 
Christ and Divine realities as to render the soul dead to 
things of time and sense, and alive to God and eternal things; 
to crucify the old man; and to develop a new class of desires 
and emotions that will favor instead of oppose the right 
action of the will. 

Now observe, when the Spirit begets this hungering and 
thirsting after the universal and complete conformity of the 
whole being to God; when he stirs up the soul to an intense 
effort and to a tearful agony and travail for deliverance from 
the power of temptation; is it irrational for the soul to make 
these efforts? Does reason or revelation forbid the expecta- 
tion that the blessing sought should be obtained? Is the soul 
mad, and irrationally aiming at an impossibility, or is it irra- 
tionally engaged in striving to get loose and to rise perma- 
nently above the power of temptation? If it is irrational to 
expect to make the attainment in question, it is irrational to 
aim at it. Nay, it is impossible to truly aim at it except it 
be regarded as possible. The soul must think it reasonable 



SANCTIFICATION. 



349 



to expect to make this attainment, or it can not think it rea- 
sonable to try to make it. But is it deceived in thinking this 
attainment practicable? If so, but convince it that the ex- 
pectation is irrational, and it will aim at making it no 
longer. It must by a law of its own nature give up the pur- 
suit, in despair of ever living without being, at least frequent- 
ly, overcome by temptation while it abides in the flesh. But 
does the bible encourage this despair? Does not the bible de- 
nounce this state of mind as unbelief and sin? What are 
the promises — what is the gospel — and what are the provis- 
ions of grace, if, after all, there is practically no remedy for 
the agonized christian in such circumstances? Is there no 
rational ground of hope or help for him in God? Then sure- 
ly the gospel is a vain boast and a humbug. 

Observe, the question before us is whether the christian 
who is actually willing and most earnestly desirous of rising 
permanently above the power of sin and temptation, and who 
is stirred up to lay hold on the promises of complete deliver- 
ance, and to plead them in faith before God, can rationally 
hope to make the attainment in this life at which he is aim- 
ing? Is such a soul mad and deluded, or is it rationally em- 
ployed; and are its expectations in accordance with reason 
and revelation? Undoubtedly they are in accordance with 
both. 

But before I dismiss this objection I must not fail to glance 
at the future prospects of the church. It is, and long has 
been, the belief of the great body of orthodox christians that 
the church is destined at a future period of her earthly histo- 
ry to rise to a state answerable to the representations of the 
prophets and apostles — a state in which she shall come forth 
"clear as the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army 
with banners." In proof of the fact of a future millenium 
on earth, let such passages as the following be consulted. 

Gen. 22: 18. And in thy seed shall all the nations of the 
earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. 

Ps. 22: 27. All the ends of the world shall remember, and 
turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall 
worship before thee. 

37: 11. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall 
delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 

72: 6. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass; 

as showers that water the earth. 7. In his days shall the 

righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the 

moon endure th. 11. Yea, all kings shall fall down before 

30 



350 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

him; all nations shall serve him. 17. His name shall endure 
forever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun; and 
men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed. 

86: 9. All nations whom thou hast made shall come and 
worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. 

Isa. 2: 2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the 
mountain of the Lord's house shall he established in the top 
of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and 
all nations shall flow unto it. 4. And he shall judge among 
the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall 
heat their swords into plowshares: and their spears into pru- 
ning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nei- 
ther shall they learn war any more. 17. And the loftiness 
of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men 
shall be made low : and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that 
day. 20. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and 
his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to 
worship, to the moles, and to the bats. 

25: 6. And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make 
unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the 
lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well 
refined. 7. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of 
the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread 
over all nations. 8. He will swallow up death in victory; 
and the Lord will wipe away tears from off all faces; and 
the rebuke of his people shall be taken away from off all the 
earth: for the Lord hath spoken it. 

22: 13. Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns 
and briars, yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: 
15. Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the 
wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted 
for a forest. 16. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilder- 
ness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. 17. And 
the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of 
righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. 18. And my 
people shall dwell in a peaceful habitation, and in sure dwel- 
lings, and in quiet resting-places. 

45: 22. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the 
earth; for I am God, and there is none else. 23. I have 
sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in right- 
eousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee 
shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 

49: 6. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldst 
be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore 



SANCTIFICATION. 351 

the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the 
Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of 
the earth. 

59: 19. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the 
west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the 
enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall 
lift up a standard against him. 20. And the Redeemer shall 
come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in 
Jacob saith the Lord. 

6C: 18. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, was- 
ting nor destruction within thy borders: but thou shalt call 
thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. 21. Thy people 
shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, 
the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may 
be glorified. 

66: 23. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon 
to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh 
come to worship before me, saith the Lord. 

Dan. 7: 27. And the kingdom and dominion, and the 
greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be 
given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose 
kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall 
serve and obey him. 

Mic. 4: 1 . But in the last days it shall come to pass, that 
the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in 
the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the 
hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2. And many nations 
shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain 
of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he 
will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; 
for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord 
from Jerusalem. 

Hab. 2: 14. For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge 
of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. 

Mai. 1: 11, For from the rising of the sun even unto the 
going down of the same, my name shall be great among the 
Gentiles: and in every place incense shall be offered unto my 
name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among 
the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. 

John 12: 31. Now is the judgment of this world; now shall 
the prince of this world be cast out. 32. And I, if I be lift- 
ed up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 

Rom. 11: 25. For I would not, brethren that ye should be 
ignorant of this mystery, (lest ye should be wise in your own 



352 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

conceits.) that blindness in part is happened unto Israel, until 
the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26: And so all Isra- 
el shall be saved; as it is written, there shall come out of !>ion 
the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 
27. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take 
away their sins. 

Rev. 11: 15. And the seventh angel sounded, and there were 
great voices in heaven saying, the kingdoms of this world are 
become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he 
shall reign for ever and ever. 

20: 2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, 
which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand 
years. 3. iind cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him 
up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the na- 
tions no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and 
after that he must be loosed a little season. 

These things are said of the extension and state of the 
church undeniably at some period of its history in this world. 
That is, they are said of the church, not in a glorified state, 
but of her in her state of earthly prosperity. At least this 
is and has long been held by the great mass of christians. 

The folio vving things are said of her holiness at the time 
specified: 

Isa. 60: 21. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they 
shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the 
work of my hands, that I may be glorified. 

Jer. 31: 33. But this shall be the covenant that I will 
make with the house of Israel; After those days saith the 
Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in 
their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my 
people. 34. And they shall teach no more every man his 
neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, 
for rhey shall all know me, from the least of them unto the 
greatest of them, saith the Lord; for I will forgive their ini- 
quity, and I will remember their sin no more. 

Ez. 36: 25. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, 
and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all 
your idols, will I cleanse you. 26. A new heart also will I 
give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will 
take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give 
you a heart of flesh. 27. And I will put my Spirit within 
you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep 
my judgments and do them. 28. And ye shall dwell in the 
land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, 






SANCTIFICATION. 



353 



and I will be your God. 29. I will also save you from all 
your uncleannesses; and I will call for the corn, and will in- 
crease it, and lay no famine upon you. 

37: 23. Neither shall they defile themselves any more 
with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with 
any of their transgression, but I will save them out of all 
their dwelling-places, wherein they have sinned, and will 
cleanse them; so shall they be my people, and I will be their 
God. 24. And David my servant shall be king over them; 
and they all shall have one shepherd; they shall also walk in 
my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 

Zeph. 3: 13. The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, 
nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in 
their mouth; for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall 
make them afraid. 

Zech. 14: 20. In that day shall there be upon the bells of 
the horses, holiness unto the Lord; and the pots in the 
Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 

Ro. 11: 25. For I would not brethren, that ye should be 
ignorant of this mystery, (lest ye should be wise in your own 
conceit,) that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until 
the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. 26. And so all Isra- 
el shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of 
Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from 
Jacob. 27. For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall 
take away their sins. 

These things are said of the holiness of the church at 
that time. 

The following, among other passages represent the spirit 
of peace and unanimity that shall prevail at that time. 

Ps. 29: 11. The Lord will give strength unto his people; 
the Lord will bless his people with peace. 

37: 11. But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall de- 
light themselves in the abundance of peace. 

72: 3. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and 
the little hills, by righteousness. 7. In his days shall the 
righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the 
moon endureth. 

Isa. 52: 8. Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the 
voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, 
when the Lord shall bring again Zion. 

60: 17. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will 
bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron; I will 
also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteous- 
30* 



354 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

ness. 18. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, 
wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt 
call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. 

66: 12. For thus saith the Lord, Behold I will extend 
peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a 
flowing stream; then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon 
her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. 

Micah 4: 3. And he shall judge among many people, and 
rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their 
swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; 
nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall 
they learn war any more. 4. But they shall sit every man 
under his vine, and under his fig-tree, and none shall make 
them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spo- 
ken it. 

The following passages speak of the great intelligence of 
the church at that period: 

Isa. 11:9. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy 
mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the 
Lord, as the waters cover the sea. 

•29: 18. And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of 
the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity 
and out of darkness. 24. They also that erred in spirit shall 
come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn 
doctrine. 

33: 6. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability 
of thy times, and strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord 
is his treasure. 

Jer. 1: 15. And I will give you pastors according to mine 
heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understand- 
ing. 

Heb. 8: 11. And they shall not teach every man his neigh- 
bor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for 
all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 

The following passages describe the temporal prosperity 
of the church at that time, and show clearly that the state of 
which mention is made belongs to a temporal and not to a 
glorified state, as I understand them: 

Ps. 72: 7. In his days shall the righteous nourish; and 
abundan e of peace so long as the moon endureth. 16. 
There shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon the top of 
the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon, 
and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. 



SANCTIFICATION. 



355 



Isa. 60: 5. Then thou shalt see and flow together, and 
their heart shall fear, and be enlarged, because the abundance 
of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gen- 
tiles shall come unto thee. 6. The multitude of camels shall 
cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they 
from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense; 
and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. 7. All 
the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the 
rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee; and they shall 
come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the 
house of my glory. 13. The glory of Lebanon shall come 
unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to 
beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place 
of my feet glorious. 

Joel 2: 21. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice; for the 
Lord will do great things. 22. Be not afraid, ye beasts of 
the field; for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the 
tree beareth her fruit, the fig-tree and the vine do yield their 
strength. 23. Be glad then, ye children of Zion,and rejoice 
in the Lord your God, for he hath given you the former rain, 
moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain 
the former rain and the latter rain in the first month. 24. And 
the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow 
with' wine and oil. 25. And I will restore to you the years 
that the locusts hath eaten, the canker-worm, and the cater- 
pillar, and the palmer worm, my great army which I sent 
among you. 26. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied 
and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt 
wondrously with you; and my people shall never be ashamed. 

3: 18. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the 
mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow 
with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters 
and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and 
shall water the valley of Shittim. 

Isa. 25: 6. And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts 
make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines 
on the lees; of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees 
well refined. 

Is. 35: 1. The wilderness and the solitary place, shall be 
glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom 
as the rose. 2. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice 
even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be 
given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon; they 
shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our 



356 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

God. 3. Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the 
feeble knees. 4. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be 
strong, fear not: behold your God will come with vengeance 
even God with a recompense he will come and save you. 
5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears 
of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6. Then shall the lame 
man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; for 
in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the 
desert. 7. And the parched ground shall become a pool, 
and the thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of 
dragons, where each lay, shall be grass, with reeds and rush- 
es. 8. And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall 
be called, The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass 
over it; but it shall be for those; the wayfaring men, though 
fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any 
ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found 
there; but the redeemed shall walk there. 10. And the ran- 
somed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs 
and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy 
and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. 

41. 18. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in 
the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool 
of water, and the dry land springs of water. 

Again: the church at that period shall have great enjoy- 
ment: 

Isa. 25: 8. He will swallow up death in victory; and the 
Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the 
rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; 
for the Lord hath spoken it. 

35: 10: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and 
come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their 
heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and 
sighing shall flee away. 

52: 9. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste pla- 
ces of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he 
hath redeemed Jerusalem. 

65: 18. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which 
I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her 
people a joy. 19. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy 
in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more 
heard in her, nor the voice of crying. 

Zeph. 3: 14. Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; 
be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusa- 
lem. 15. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath 



SANCTIFICATION. 357 

cast out thine enemy: the King of Israel, even the Lord, is 
in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. 16. 
In that day shall it be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and 
to Zion, Let not thy hands be slack. 17. The Lord thy God 
in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice 
over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over 
thee with singing. 

Let the following passages be viewed in contrast with the 
past history of the church: 

Isa. 11: 6. The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the 
leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the 
young lion and the fading together; and a little child shall 
lead them. 7. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their 
young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat 
straw like the ox. 8. And the sucking child shall play on 
the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand 
on the cockatrice's den. 

40: 4. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain 
and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made 
straight, and the rough places plain. 5. And the glory of 
the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: 
for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 

41: 18. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in 
the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of 
water, and the dry land springs of water. 19. I will plant 
in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah-tree, and the myrtle, 
and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir-tree, and the 
pine, and the box-tree together. 20, That they may see 
and know, and consider, and understand together, that the 
hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Isra- 
el hath created it. 

55: 13. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, 
and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle-tree: and 
it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign, 
that shall not be cut off. 

These passages are, as every reader of the bible knows, 
specimens of the manner in which the bible represents the 
state of the church in future. I have quoted thus copiously 
to lay before the reader the general tenor of scripture upon 
this subject. 

It is also a matter of common knowledge that nearly all 
orthodox christians are expecting the church to enter upon 
this state soon. But how is this state to be attained if it is 
irrational for christians to hope to be entirely sanctified in 



358 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

this life? If the above passages do not describe a state of 
complete and continued holiness, what language could de- 
scribe such a state? These promises and prophecies will be 
fulfilled at some time. They are, as it respects individuals, 
and as respects the whole church, conditioned upon faith. 
But this faith will actually be exercised. The church will 
enter into this state. Now is it unreasonable for the church, 
and for any and every christian, to hope at this age of the 
world to enter upon this state? Would it be irrational for 
the church to arise and aim at making these attainments in 
holiness during the present century? 

How is it possible for the church as a body to arrive at 
this state, while it is regarded as unreasonable and as danger- 
ous error for christians to hope or expect to get into a state 
of abiding consecration to God in this life? 

It must be, I think, evident to every one that if the objec- 
tion under consideration has any weight, the prophecies can 
never be fulfilled; and that while the theological schools in- 
sist, and ministers insist that the expectation of making the 
attainment in question is irrational and dangerous, the proph- 
ecies and promises will not be fulfilled to the church. While 
such a sentiment is insisted on, the seminaries and the minis- 
try are in the way of the onward movement of the ark of 
holiness and of truth. 

The objection that it is irrational to expect to make such 
attainments in this life as to get a complete victory over 
temptation and sin, must be groundless, or both the bible and 
the Holy Spirit are found false witnesses; but this can 
never be. 






LECTURE LXVL 
SANCTIFICATION. 

14. I come now to the consideration of the tendency of a denial 
that christians have valid grounds of hope that they shall obtain 
a victory over sin in this life. 

(1.) We have seen that true religion consists in benevo- 
lence or in heart obedience to God. It consists essentially in 
the will's being yielded to the will of God, in embracing the 
same end that he embraces, and yielding implicit obedience to 
him in all our lives or in our efforts to secure that end. This 
constitutes the essence of all true religion. The feelings or 
affections or the involuntary emotions are rather a conse- 
quence than strictly a part of true religion. Since religion 
consists essentially in yielding the will to God in implicit obe- 
dience, it follows that faith or implicit confidence is a condi- 
tion or rather an essential element of true religion. 

(2.) We have in former lectures also seen what faith is, 
that it consists in committing the soul to God, in trust, confi- 
dence. It is not an involuntary, but a voluntary state of mind. 
We have also seen that intellectual conviction is an indispen- 
sable condition of faith; that this conviction is not evangeli- 
cal faith, but is only a condition of it. Faith essentially con- 
sists in the will's embracing the truths perceived by the intel- 
lect; and this intellectual perception is of course indispensa- 
ble to faith. We have seen that faith can not exist any fur- 
ther than truth is apprehended, understood, and intellectually 
believed. This intellectual apprehension, understanding, and 
belief, I say again is not itself saving or evangelical faith, but 
only a condition of it. When truth is apprehended, under- 
stood and intellectually embraced or believed, then and so far 
true faith is possible, and no farther. Then and not till then, 
can the will embrace and commit itself to truth. 

(3.) Of course, as we have heretofore seen, faith is a condi- 
tion of all heart obedience to the will of God. The will can 
not consistently, and ought not to be yielded to any being in 
whose wisdom and goodness we have not the best perceived 
and understood grounds of confidence. The intellect must 



360 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

apprehend the grounds of confidencebefore we have a right 
to trust in, or commit our will to the direction of any being. 
We ought to have the fullest intellectual conviction of the 
wisdom and uprightness of a being, before we can innocent- 
ly yield up to him the direction of our powers, and commit 
ourselves to him in implicit and universal obedience. 

(4.) Again faith is also a condition of prevailing prayer. 
Without faith it is impossible to please God in any thing. It 
is, as every reader of the Bible knows, the every where ex- 
pressed or implied condition of the fulfillment of the promises 
of God, and we are expressly assured that he who wavers and 
does not implicitly believe or trust in God, must not expect 
to receive any thing in answer to prayer. 

(5.) Implicit confidence or faith is also a condition of sanc- 
tification, as we have fully seen. Indeed faith is indispensa- 
ble to any progress in religion. Not a step is taken from first 
to last in the real and true service of God without faith or 
heart confidence in him. The very nature of religion forbids 
the expectation and the possibility of progress in religion 
without faith. 

(6.) Implicit confidence or faith is of course, and as every 
one knows, a condition of salvation. Without faith a prepa- 
ration for heaven is naturally impossible, and of course with- 
out faith salvation is naturally impossible. 

(7.) We have also seen what hope is; that it is compound- 
ed of desire and expectation; that it includes a feeling and 
some degree of expectation. As we have seen, both these 
elements are essential to hope. That which is not desired, 
can not be hoped for, although it may be expected. So, that 
which is desired cannot be hoped for unless it is also expect- 
ed. Both expectation and desire are always essential to 
hope. 

It has also been seen that a thing may be truly desirable, 
which is not desired. A thing may be ever so excellent and 
desirable in itself, yet from false views of its nature it may 
not be desired. 

So also a thing may be desired which is not expected; and 
there may be good reason to expect an event which is desi- 
red, and yet expectation may be prevented for want of a 
knowledge of the reason, or grounds of expectation. There 
may be never so good and substantial evidence that an event 
will occur, and yet we may not expect it for want of an appre- 
hension of it. Since desire and expectation are both es- 
sential elements of hope, it follows that whatever seems 



SANCTIFICATION. 



331 



to inspire desire and expectation, tends to produce hope. And 
so on the other hand, whatever tends to prevent desire and 
expectation, tends to prevent hope. 

(8.) From what has been said, it is plain that hope is a condi- 
tion of the beginning of religion and of all progress in it. Desire 
and expectation must both exist as a condition of true reli- 
gion. If there be no desire there will of course be no atten- 
tion to the subject, and no effort. But if there be desire and 
no expectation or intellectual conviction, there can be no faith. 
Both desire and expectation are conditions of all religion, 
and of all salvation. Hope is a condition of all effort on al- 
most every subject. Without both desire and expectation, 
the very sinews of effort are wanting. 

Whatever therefore tends to prevent hope, tends to pre- 
vent religion. There is, as every one must see, a difference 
between a hope of eternal life founded upon a consciousness 
of being a christian and a hope founded upon the mere offer 
of salvation. The difference, however, does not consist in 
the nature of hope, but only in the evidence upon which ex- 
pectation is based. The offer of salvation, as has been said, 
lays a goodjfoundation for a rational hope that we shall be con- 
verted and saved. But finding ourselves in the way of obe- 
dience, and drawn by the Holy Spirit, we have a higher evi- 
dence upon which to base expectation. Both desire and ex- 
pectation are greatly increased in the latter case, but they 
may justly exist in a lower degree in the former case. 
The foregoing remarks prepare the way for saying, 
(9.) That there are two effectual ways of opposing reli- 
gion. 

[1.] By so misrepresenting it as to prevent desire. 
When God and his government and service are so represen- 
ted as to prevent desire, this is one of the most effectual ways 
of apposing religion. If such representations are accredited, 
this is an effectual bar to religion in every case. This is a 
common way in which Satan and his emissaries oppose the re- 
ligion of the Bible. They misrepresent God and religion, 
and hold it up to contempt, or so misrepresent it in multi- 
tudes of ways as to cause the human mind necessarily to re- 
gard it as undesirable, as rather injurious than beneficial to 
the world, and to individuals. They represent religion either 
as unnecessary, or as something that can not be desired upon 
any other principle than as the less of two evils — as some- 
thing to be submitted to, rather than to go to hell, but as being 
far from any thing desirable and lovely in itself. This I say 



36*2 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

again, is one of the most common and most fatal methods of 
opposing religion. Many men who think they are promoting 
religion, are among the most efficient agents of Satan in pre- 
venting it by the false representations they make of it. 

They by their spirit and manner throw around and over 
it a fanatical or a melancholic or a superstitious cant, whi- 
ning and grimace, or a severity and a hatefulness that ne- 
cessarily disgust rather than attract the enlightened mind. 
Thus the soul is repelled instead of attracted; . disgust in- 
stead of desire, is awakened. Such representations are 
among Satan's most efficient instrumentalities for opposing 
God and ruining souls. 

[2.] Another frequent and most successful method of oppo- 
sing God and his government is by discouraging expectation. 
This was the devil's first successful experiment with man- 
kind. He succeded in undermining confidence in God; this 
he did by suggesting that God is selfish in his requisitions and 
prohibitions. Ever since the fall of our first parents, unbelief 
has been the easily besetting sin of our race. God has there- 
fore taken, and is taking, all possible pains to restore 
confidence in himself and in his government, as a condition 
of saving the souls of fallen men. 

We have seen, and Satan and his emissaries know that in- 
tellectual expectation or conviction is a condition of faith, 
and that faith is a condition of all holiness and of salvation. 
It has therefore always been, and still is, one of the princi- 
pal objects of Satan to prevent faith. To do this, he must 
destroy hope or expectation, and desire. Men are exceed- 
ingly prone to discredit the Divine testimony and character, 
and it would seem that unbelief is the most common, as well 
as the most unreasonable abomination in the world. It is re- 
markable with what readiness and with what credulity a hint 
or an insinuation against the testimony of God will be re- 
ceived. It would seem that the human mind is in such an 
attitude towards God, that his most solemn declarations and 
his oath can be discredited upon the bare denial of man, and 
even of the devil. Man seems to be more prone to unbelief 
than to almost any other form of sin. Whatever, therefore, 
tends to beget distrust or to prevent expectation in regard to 
the promises and truth of God, tends, of course, in the most 
direct and efficient manner to oppose God and religion. Now 
suppose ministers should set themselves so to caricature and 
misrepresent religion, as to render it undesirable and even 
odious to the human mind; so that, as the human mind is con- 






SANCTIFICATION. 



363 



stituted, it would be impossible to desire it. Who can 
not see that such a ministry were infinitely worse than none, 
and would be the most successful and efficient instrumentali- 
ty that Satan could devise to oppose God and build up the 
influence of hell? If those who are supposed to know by 
experience, and who are the leaders in, and teachers of reli- 
gion, represent it as undesirable, in just so far. as they have 
influence, they are the most successful opposers of it. The 
result would be the same, whether they did this through mis- 
apprehension or design. If they mistook the nature of reli- 
gion, and without designing to misrepresent it, did neverthe- 
less actually do so, the consequence must be just as fatal 
to the interests of religion as if they were its real, but dis- 
guised enemies. This, as I have said, is no uncommon thing 
for ministers, through misapprehension to misrepresent so 
grossly the gospel as to repel rather than attract the human 
mind. In so doing, they of course render hope impossible, 
by preventing the possibility of one of its essential elements, 
desire. There is of course no effort made on the part of the 
hearers of such ministers to obtain what they are prevented 
from desiring. Such ministers preach on and ascribe to the 
sovereignty of God their want of success, not considering 
that the fault is in their grossly misrepresenting God and his 
claims and the nature of his religion. It were perfectly easy, 
were this the place to do so, to show that the representations 
of God, and of his claims, and of religion, which are some- 
times made in the pulpit and through the press, are calculated 
in a high degree to repel and disgust, rather than attract the 
human mind. When such misrepresentations are complained 
of. we are told that the carnal mind will of course repel true 
representations of the character of God and of religion; and 
the fact that disgust is produced, is regarded as evidence 
that the truth is held forth to the people. 

I know it is true that the carnal or selfish mind is enmity 
against God. But what does this mean? Why it means that 
the carnal heart is selfishness, that the will is committed to 
self-gratification, which is a state of heart or an attitude of 
the will directly opposite to that which God requires. It is 
also true that this selfish state of will does often beget emo- 
tions of opposition to God, when God is contemplated as op- 
posed to the sinner on account of his selfishness. But it is 
also true that the human intelligence can not but approve the 
character and government of God when they are rightly appre- 
hended; and further, when the true character of God, of his 



364 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

government and religion is properly represented to, and 
apprehended by the human mind, from a law of necessity the 
mind pronounces the character of God to be lovely, and his 
government and religion infinitely desirable. Such being the 
nature of the human mind, the Holy Spirit by thoroughly en- 
lightening the intellect arouses the desires, and develops the 
feelings in their relations to God. The desires thus come into 
harmony with the law of God, and favor the consecration of the 
will, and the whole man is renewed in the image and favor 
of God. 

Men are susceptible of conversion by the truth as present- 
ed by the Holy Spirit upon condition of their nature being 
such that a true representation of God rather attracts than 
repels them. But since I have dwelt so much at large upon 
this particular in lectures on depravity and regeneration, I 
must not enlarge upon it in this place. 

It is very plain that when through mistake or design, God, 
his government, and religion are so represented as naturally 
to repel rather than attract men, this is the most efficient 
method of opposing the progress of religion since it prevents 
desire which is an essential element of hope, and hope is 
indispensable to successful effort. 

But suppose that the teachers of religion set themselves to 
prevent the expectation of becoming religious, or of making 
progress in religion. Suppose they represent to sinners 
that there is no rational ground of hope in their case — that 
men can not rationally expect to be saved or to be converted, 
however much they may desire it. What must be the effect of 
such teaching? Every body knows that in just so far forth as 
such teachers had any influence, hell could not desire a more 
efficient instrumentality to dishonor God and ruin souls. This 
would be just what the devil would himself inculcate. It 
would prevent hope and of course prevent faith, and render 
salvation impossible, and damnation certain, unless the lie 
could be contradicted and the spell of error broken. 

Suppose also, that religious teachers should instruct the 
church that they have no rational ground for the expectation 
that their prayers will be answered. Suppose they should 
tell them that present faith has no connection whatever with 
future faith, or no such connection as to render future faith 
probable; that present faith in any promise is so far from hav- 
ing any certain connection with its fulfillment, that it affords 
no ground whatever for rational hope that the promises at 
present believed will ever be fulfilled. Suppose they are told 



SANCTIFICATION. 365 

that prayer for the grace of perseverance and a present de- 
sire and determination to persevere, had no such connection 
with the desired end as to afford the least ground of ration- 
al hope that they should persevere. 

Suppose that ministers should take this course to render 
expectation, and of course hope and faith impossible, what 
must be the result? Every one can see. Take any class of 
promises you please and let the ministry in general represent 
it as a dangerous error for christians to expect or hope to re- 
alize their fulfillment, and what must the consequence be? 
Why in so far forth as they had influence they would ex- 
ert the very worst influence possible. Apply this principle 
to the promises of the world's conversion, and what would be 
done for missions? Apply it to parents in relation to their 
children, and what would become of family religion? 

Now take the class of promises that pledge a victory over 
sin in this life. Let for example, ministers explain away 1st 
Thess. 5: *23, *24: " And the very God of peace sanctify you 
wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, 
be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it:" 
and this whole class of promises; or let them teach, as some 
of them do, that it is a dangerous error to expect that these 
promises will be fulfilled to christians, and what must the re- 
sult be? This would be just as the devil would have it. "Ha, 
hath God said, he will sanctify you wholly, spirit, soul, and 
body, and preserve you blameless unto the coming of the Lord 
JesusChrist? Ye shall not surely be so sanctified and kept, and 
the Lord doth know this, and it is dangerous to trust him." 

This surely is the deviPs teaching; and when he can get 
the ministers of Christ to take this course, what more can be 
done? Suppose the ministers admit,.as many of them do, that 
the blessing we have been considering is fully promised in the 
Bible, but at the same time inculcate that it is promised 
upon a condition with which it is irrational for us to hope to 
comply. What must result from such teaching as this? Such 
teaching represents God and his gospel in a most revolting 
and ridiculous light. The provision, say such teachers, is ade- 
quate, and proffered upon conditions with which you might 
comply, but with which you can not rationally hope to comply. 
Well, then, what remains but to regard the gospel as a failure? 
The fact is, every man and every soul may rationally hope to 
comply with the conditions of salvation and with the condi- 
tions of the promises, or what are they? 
31* 



36G SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

But the point we arc now considering is, the tendency of such 
teaching; the tendency of teaching the church that it is 
irrational for them to expect to fulfill the conditions of the 
promises. I care not what class, any class. God has written 
them, and holds them out to inspire desire and expectation — 
to beget hope, and faith, and effort, and thus to secure their 
fulfillment to his people. Now what an employment for the 
leaders and instructors of the people, to be engaged in 
teaching them not to expect the fulfillment of these promises 
to them — that such an expectation or hope is a dangerous er- 
ror — that it is irrational for them to hope to so fulfill the con- 
ditions of these promises as to secure the blessings promised, 
however much they may at present desire to do so. 1 say 
again the devil himself could not do worse than this. Hell itself 
could not wish for a more efficient opposition to God and re- 
ligion than this. This is indeed a most sublime employment 
for the ministers of God, to be zealous in their private and 
public, in their individual and in their associated capacities, 
in season and out of season, in persuading the people that the 
grace of God is sufficient for them if they would believe the 
promises and appropriate this proffered grace to themselves, 
but that it is "dangerous error" for them to expect even by 
grace divine so to fulfill the conditions of the promises, as to 
avail themselves of this proffered grace, however willing and 
desirous they now are to do so. They might be saved, but it 
is dangerous to expect to be saved. They might obtain 
answers to prayer, but it is dangerous error to expect 
them. They might obtain a victory over sin in this world, but 
it is " dangerous error" to expect to do so, however much they 
may desire it. This is sublime religious instruction; or 
rather a most gross contradiction and denial of the grace and 
truth of God. I will not of course say, nor do I think, that it 
is intentional, but I must expose its tendency and its true na- 
ture. 

Such instruction is in its very nature a libel upon the glori- 
ous gospel of the blessed God; and it tends as directly and as 
efficiently as possible to infidelity and to the ruin of the church 
of God. Why, in just so far forth as such teaching is believ- 
ed, it renders hope and faith impossible. 

There are good and sufficient grounds of hope in the case 

under consideration, but these grounds are strenuously denied 

by multitudes of ministers, and pains are taken in every way 

to discourage faith in the class of promises that pledge deliv- 

^ erance from the bondage of sin in this life. Those who plead 



SANCTIFICATION. 



367 



for God and his promises and inculcate expectation and faith 
and effort, are branded as heretics, and proscribed and treated 
as the enemies of religion. O, tell it not in Gath. For my 
life I would not say this were it not already a matter of com- 
mon knowledge. 

Why may not a man as well caricature God and religion 
and so represent both as to render them odious, and thus 
render desire impossible, as to exclaim against their being any 
ground of rational hope that the promises will be fulfilled to 
us? Why may not a man as well be employed in preventing 
desire as in preventing expectation? One certainly is equally 
as fatal to the interests of religion and to souls as the other. 
I do not complain of designed misrepresentation in regard to 
the truth we have been considering; but O, what a mistake! 
What an infinitely ruinous misapprehension of the gospel 
and of the grounds of hope! God has endeavored by every 
means to inspire desire and expectation, to secure confidence 
and effort, but alas! alas! how many ministers have fallen into 
the infinite mistake of laying a stumbling block before the 
church! How many are crying, There is no reason to hope, 
no ground for rational expectation that you shall so fulfill the 
conditions of the promises as to secure their fulfillment. You 
must expect to live in sin so long as you are in this world. It 
is dangerous to entertain any other expectation. 

Who does not know that faith is a sine qua non of all pro- 
gress in religion? Nothing can be more fatal to the progress 
of the gospel and to its influence over individuals and over 
masses of men than to destroy expectation, and thus render 
faith impossible. Observe, hope is composed of desire and 
expectation. The very nature of hope shows beyond con- 
troversy its relation to effort and to faith. Expectation is 
itself intellectual faith, or belief. It is capable of indefinite 
degrees. In many instances hope in relation to a desired 
event is very weak; we greatly desire it, but our expectation 
is very slight, so that we can hardly say that we hope, and 
yet we are aware that we do hope. Now in this case, hope 
will increase as expectation increases. If expectation is slight 
it is difficult to believe with the heart, that is, to rest confi- 
dently in, or confidently to look for the occurrence of the 
event. It is difficult when intellectual faith or expectation is 
but slight, to commit the will and trust calmly that the desired 
object will be obtained. It is a common experience in regard 
to objects of desire, to find ourselves unable to rest or trust 



368 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

with the heart in the confidence that the event will be as we 
desire. Now the thing needed in this case is, to have expec- 
tation or intellectual faith increased. The mind needs to be 
more thoroughly convinced; it wants more evidence or to 
apprehend more clearly the reasons for rational expectation. 
Now if the occurrence of the event depends in any measure 
upon our hope or faith, as all events do that are dependent 
upon our diligent attention and use of appropriate effort and 
instrumentalities, who does not see that we need encourage- 
ment and evidence instead of discouragement? Discourage- 
ment in such a case is ruinous to what slight hope we have. 
Now God has made to us exceeding great and precious 
promises, and held them out to our faith, and said, u All things 
are possible to him that believeth." " If thou canst believe, 
thou shalt see the glory of God. 1 ' u Be it unto thee accord- 
ing to thy faith." " If ye will not believe, ye shall not be 
established." But why should I quote passages; every read- 
er of the bible knows that every where the greatest stress is 
laid upon faith, and that nothing is too hard for God to do 
when his people will believe. Now what must be the influ- 
ence of a religious teacher who discourages faith? Suppose he 
explains away the promises to parents in reference to their 
children. Who has not observed the influence of a teacher 
that is himself stumbling through unbelief in regard to that 
class of promises. You will universally find that so far as 
his influence extends, it is death to the expectation, and of 
course to the faith of parents, in regard to the conversion of 
their children. Of course their children grow up in sin, and 
the families of the members of his church are filled with im- 
penitent children. The same will be true in reference to re- 
vivals of religion. Let the pastor be himself unbelieving; 
let him have little or no hope of having religion revived; let 
him cast the stumbling block of his own iniquity or unbelief 
before the church, and the influence is death. It were much 
better that a church had no minister, than for them to have 
one who has so much unbelief as to preach unbelief instead 
of faith to the people, who is forever throwing out discourag- 
ing suggestions in regard to the efficacy of prayer and faith 
in the promises of God. What would be the influence of a 
minister who should from year to year hold out to his people 
the doctrine that the promises are made upon conditions which 
they had no rational ground of hope of fulfilling? that they 
might have a revival if they would use the appropriate means 
in "the appropriate manner, but it was dangerous error for 



SANCTIFICATION. 363 

them to expect to do so? that the children of the members of 
his church might be converted if the parents would appropri- 
ate to themselves, and rest in, and plead the promises made 
to parents, but that these promises were made upon condi- 
tions that they had no rational ground for hope that they 
should fulfill, and that therefore it was dangerous error to ex- 
pect to fulfill them and to have their children converted? 
Who does not see what the influence of such a pastor must be? 

It must be death and ruin. He preaches unbelief instead 
of faith to the people. 

Precisely the same is true in respect to the doctrine of ho- 
liness in this life. Suppose a pastor to read to his congrega- 
tion such passages as the following: 

2 Cor. 6: 16. And what agreement hath the temple of 
God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as 
God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I 
will be their God, and they shall be my people. IT. Where- 
fore come out from among them, and be ye seperate, saith the 
Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive 
you. 18. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be 
my sons and my daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 

7: 1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let 
us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, 
perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 

1 Thess. 5: 23. And the very God of peace sanctify you 
wholly: and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and 
body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 24. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also 
will do it. 

Now suppose that he explains away, or suggests that these 
passages are interpolations; or that they are not correctly 
translated; or affirms that at any rate they have no rational 
ground of hope that these promises will be fulfilled to them; 
that they might be fulfilled to them if they would believe 
them, but that they have no reason to expect that they shall 
believe them; that very few, if any, have in fact believed 
them; and that many who have thought they believed them 
and that they had received the fulfillment of them, have found 
themselves mistaken; that it is very difficult to get a perma- 
nent victory over sin in this world; that they might fall into 
fanaticism if they should expect these promises to be fulfilled 
to them; and that such an expectation were dangerous error. 

Now I ask, how could a minister more directly serve the 
devil than by such teaching as this? He could hardly be 



370 SYSTEMATIC TIIEOLOGY. 

more injuriously employed. The fact is that an unbelieving 
minister is the greatest of all stumbling blocks to the church. 
I have had occasion to witness enough of this to make any 
man's heart sick. It matters not at all in what particular 
form his unbelief develops itself; in that direction all will be 
ruin. Suppose he loses, or never had any confidence in revi- 
vals of religion, and is always letting out his unbelief upon his 
church. He is the greatest stumblingblock that could be laid 
before them. Suppose he neither understands nor believes 
the promises of God made to parents respecting their children, 
and that in this respect he lets out his ignorance and unbelief: 
he is the ruin of their children. Suppose he is in the dark, 
and filled with error or unbelief in respect to every thing 
where faith and energetic action are concerned, and throws 
doubt and discouragement in the way: — his influence is death. 

What! a leader in the host of God's elect disheartening the 
church of God by his unbelief ! It is in vain to say that en- 
tire sanctification in this life is not promised; for it really and 
plainly is, and nothing is more expressly promised in the word 
of God. These promises like all others are conditioned up- 
on faith, and it is as rational to hope to believe them, and to 
expect them to be fulfilled to us, as it is to hope to believe 
any other class of promises, and to have them fulfilled to us. 
We have the same Spirit to help our infirmities and to make 
intercession for us in one case as in the other; but the ruin is 
that false teaching has forbidden expectation and crippled faith., 
and therefore the blessing is delayed. It would be just so in 
regard to every thing else whatever. Now suppose that this 
course should be taken in regard to family religion and to 
revivals of religion until centuries should pass without revi- 
vals, and without the faithfulness of God being manifested to 
parents in the conversion of their children; and then suppose 
that the fact that there had been so few or no revivals, or so 
few children converted in answer to the parents* prayers, 
should he urged as proving that parents had no rational 
ground for the hope that their children would be converted; 
or that the church had any rational ground for the hope that 
religion would be revived, what would be the effect of all this? 

The fact is, that nothing can be more disastrous and death- 
dealing than for religious teachers to throw discouragements 
in the way of christians taking hold of and appropriating the 
promises. It is ruin and death. God presents promises and 
calls the church to believe them at once, and without hesita- 
tion to cast themselves upon them, to appropriate them and 
make them their own, and to lay hold on the blessings prom- 



SANCTIFICATION. 



371 



ised. Now what an employment for a minister to stand be- 
fore the people and cry out, It is dangerous error for you to 
expect these promises to be fulfilled to you. Surely this is 
the devil's work. 

Let facts be searched out, and it will be found to be true 
that the influence of a minister is as his confidence in God 
and in his promises is. Let search be made, and it will be 
found that those ministers who by precept and example en- 
courage the faith of their churches, are producing a healthful 
influence in proportion as they do so. But on the contrary, 
when they by example and precept discourage the faith of 
their churches, the influence is disastrous in proportion as 
they do so. 



LECTURE LXVII. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

FARTHER OBJECTIONS ANSWERED. 

2. It is objected to the foregoing argument that the passa- 
ges adduced to prove Paul's entire sanctification do not sus- 
tain the position that he had attained a state of entire, in the 
sense of permanent sanctification. To this objection I re- 
ply, 

(1.) That an examination of all the passages will, if I mis- 
take not, show that he speaks of his holiness or sanctification 
as a state and as an abiding state, as distinguished from a tem- 
porary obedience. To me it is quite manifest that Paul in- 
tended that his converts to whom he addressed his epistles, 
should understand him as professing to have experienced 
what he enjoined upon them. How could an inspired apos- 
tle write the following passage in his letter to the Thessaloni- 
ans if he did not know by experience what the state was of 
which he was speaking, and the truth of the promise or dec- 
laration which he appended to his prayer. 1 Thes. 5: 23, 
24: "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I 
pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved 
blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faith- 
ful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." How could 
he write, believing it himself, without knowing what he said 
by having experienced his preserving grace. 

(2.) I was aware when I wrote of the sanctification of Paul, 
and am now that the evidence of his permanent sanctifica- 
tion is not such as to render it perfectly certain that he in no 
instance committed sin of heart or life. Being aware of 
this, I said then, and I here repeat the remark, that the ques- 
tion of his being entirely, in the sense of permanently sanc- 
tified, is not the great question at issue, nor is it essential to the 
argument in support of the practical attainability of this 
state. It is only one of the arguments in its support; but in 
my apprehension, the argument is complete without it. 



SANCTIFICATION. 373 

(3.) The testimony in Paul's case appears to me to be sat- 
isfactory in the absence of all counter evidence. 

[I.] It covers at least a large part if not the whole of his 
apostolic life. 

[2.] He had frequent occasion to speak of his own attain- 
ments by way of encouragement, to those to whom he wrote 
to aspire after the attainments which he recommended to 
them, and also as an illustration of the provision and meaning 
of the gospel which he preached. 

[3.] He in no instance speaks as if he were guilty of sin 
during the period of his apostleship. He publishes in the face 
of saints and sinners, of friends and enemies, those unquali- 
fied assertions and professions which I have quoted, and 
more than all, he appeals to God for the truth of what he 
says, and in no instance confesses sin. 

[4] His language in several instances as we have seen, seems 
clearly to imply that his holiness was permanent or continual 
and not intermittent. 

[5.] The evidence is such as plainly to throw the burden 
of proof upon the objector. Such language as plainly im- 
plies that his holiness was continual and was rather a perma- 
nent state than an act or a temporary series of acts, must 
manifestly change the onus, and throw it upon the objector 
to prove the contrary, or to show that no such thing is fairly 
inferable from his language. It is not pretended that the 
permanency of his sanctirication is demonstrated by the pas- 
sages that have been quoted. Nor is demonstration to be ex- 
pected in a case of this kind. It were to be sure very mar- 
vellous if so humble and so simple-hearted a man as Paul 
the apostle should make so many unqualified professions of 
entire holiness of heart and life without intimating that he 
at any time sinned during this period, if he in fact knew that 
he had done so at least in some instances. One can hardly 
avoid the conviction in view of his repeated professions, that 
if at any time he had fallen into sin, candor would have re- 
quired him to confess it. 

[G.] The rules of evidence and proof when applied to this 
case, will clearly show where the burden of proof rests. 
These rules are more rigid in criminal cases than in civil. 
When a man is accused of a crime his innocence is assumed 
until he is proven to be guilty. It is however admitted that in 
the case under consideration, the assumption is reversed, and 
that, since all men are known to be sinners unless they have 
been sanctified by grace, the assumption is that every man is 
32 



374 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

a sinner unless he is proven to be otherwise. He therefore 
-who asserts that any human being is sinless, must prove it, 
and the burden of proof is upon him. But here it is impor- 
tant to remark that in making out his proof he is not held to 
making out the same kind and degree of proof as would be 
the case if he had asserted that a man was guilty of a crime 
against a human government. He is not in this case arraying 
a commonwealth against an individual and leaving it for the 
commonwealth by certain individuals of their number to sit 
in judgment in a case in which they are in a sense a party. 
When a man is arrayed before a court and jury of his coun- 
ty and accused of a crime against the commonwealth, the com- 
monwealth is a party on the record and the judge and jury are 
a part of that commonwealth. In this case the rules of proof 
are properly rigid and inflexible; the commonwealth must 
fully establish by the t most convincing testimony the very 
crime of which they complain. But even in this case and 
when the charge is of a capital crime and one punishable 
with death, the complainant is not held to make out a demon- 
stration, but only to present such a kind and degree of evi- 
dence as will leave no ground for reasonable doubt in regard 
to the guilt of the accused. The kind and degree of evidence 
are demanded that might be'reasonably expected in case the 
accused is guilty and nothing more. This throws the burden 
of proof upon the accused. The case is made out unless the 
accused can impeach, or explain, or contradict the evidence 
on the other side. He is called upon to reply to the evidence 
against him, and in case he fails to meet and in some way to 
shake its credibility he stands convicted. 

1 know it is said that this case of Paul is one where a univer- 
sal proposition is affirmed, and that therefore the case is not 
made out until it is proved that he arrived at a point in his re- 
ligious experience after which he did not sin at all. It is ad- 
mitted that in a sense this proposition is universal, but the 
inquiry is, when is this so proved as to change the onus? 
Must it be shown by direct and positive evidence, and such 
as can have no other possible construction, that he arrived at 
this state, or is it sufficient to change the burden of proof, to 
show that the most fair and natural interpretation of the evi- 
dence conducts to the conclusion in support of which the 
evidence is produced? The latter is undoubtedly the correct 
rule. If the former were the rule it were useless to talk or 
think of a defence, or of making good a charge in one case 
in many. If the affirmant must absolutely demonstrate his 






SANCTIFICATION. 



375 



position before the onus is in any case changed, why then 
defence or reply is out of the question; and further it is in no 
case of any use to bring a charge except where the evidence 
amounts to a demonstration. 

If the proof amounts to a demonstration, it is impossible 
that the demonstrated proposition should not be true, and 
therefore all answer is out of the question. 

Therefore in almost no case do courts of law and equity 
demand this kind and degree of evidence, but on the contra- 
ry, even in cases of the highest importance, they require no 
more than sufficient evidence in kind and degree to warrant 
the reasonable conclusion that the alleged proposition is true, 
and then they hold the onus to be changed and call for the 
defence. When the evidence is such as to produce or as 
should produce conviction in the absence of counter evi- 
dence they hold the case to be made out and throw the 
onus upon the respondent. 

Numerous examples might be cited from theological wri- 
ters to show what are regarded as correct rules of evidence, 
and of proof upon theological subjects. For example, in the 
controversy upon the subject of baptism, the immersing 
Baptists lay down the universal proposition that baptizo 
means only to immerse. In support of this proposition they 
attempt to show from classic usage and from various sources, 
that immersion is its primary signification and that it proper- 
ly means immersion. 

This is allowed by theological writers to be sufficient to 
change the onus and to call upon the Pedo-Baptists to rebut 
this testimony by showing that immersion is not the only 
sense at least in which the inspired writers use the term bapti- 
zo. The whole course of this controversy shows that theological 
writers never pretended to hold the immersing baptists to a pro- 
ving of their universal proposition in extenso; for if they had, this 
controversy must long since have terminated. Indeed it were 
impossible for them to prove positively their proposition be- 
cause it would amount to proving a negative. It would re- 
quire them to prove that baptizo never means any thing else 
than immersion, to make out which, they must bring forward 
every instance of its use and show that it means nothing else in 
any instance. Instead of this, it is at least practically held to 
be sufficient for them to prove that the word is used to signify 
immersion by numerous writers. This sufficiently establish- 
es their position in the absence of counter evidence. The Pedo- 
Paptists are then called upon to reply, and shew that immer- 



37G SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

sion is not its universal and only signification. This case and 
the one under consideration are parallel in the material point. 
They are both cases where the a priori assumption is against 
them. The assumption is that all words have more than one 
signification. But it is held sufficient for the Baptists to 
make out a general signification in proof of the assertion of 
a universal signification. Their making out that baptizo gen- 
erally means immerse, is held to be sufficient in the absence 
of counter testimony. The burden of proof is then changed 
and the respondent is called upon to produce examples, or an 
example of contrary usage. 

So in the case under consideration, it is sufficient to prove 
that Paul lived at least habitually, without sin. That is that 
he in general terms is said to have lived without sin. This 
changes the onus, and the assumption then is that he lived 
altogether without sin unless the contrary be shown. Or more 
strictly it is sufficient to show that Paul lived a considerable 
period during the latter part of his life without sin. This 
throws the burden of proof upon him who would deny that 
he continued in this state until death. 

However I have repeatedly said, I care not to contend for 
the sanctification of Paul, or of any other man, in support of 
the practical attainability of this state. If such cases had 
been frequent in the early ages of Christianity, they would 
not in all probability have been recorded unless it was done 
after their death. It is the fact of practical attainability and 
not of actual attainment for which I contend. 

3. Another objection to the doctrine we have been consid- 
ering has been stated as follows: 

The promises of entire sanctification are conditioned upon 
faith. We have no right to expect the fulfillment of the 
promises to us, until we believe them. To believe and ap- 
propriate them is to believe that they will be fulfilled to us. 
But of this we have no evidence until after we have believed 
that they will be fulfilled to us, which is the condition of their 
fulfillment* Therefore we have no reason to expect their 
fulfillment to us. To this objection I reply, 

(1.) That it applies equally to all the promises made to 
the saints, and if this objection is good and a bar to rational 
hope in respect to the promises of entire sanctification it is 
equally so in respect to all the promises. 

(2.) The objection represents the gospel and its promises 
as a mere farce. If this objection has any weight, the mat- 
ter stands thus: God has promised us certain things upon 



SANCTIFICATION. 377 

condition that we will believe that he will give them to us. 
But the condition of the promise is such as to render it im- 
possible for us to fulfill it. We really, in this case, have no 
promise, until after we have believed that we shall receive 
the thing promised. We must believe that he will give the 
thing promised to us. But of this, we can have no evidence 
until we have believed this, since this belief is the condition 
of the promise. This reduces us to the necessity of believing 
without a promise that God will give us the promised bless- 
ings; for this belief is the condition of the promises in which 
the blessing is pledged. We must first believe that we shall 
receive the thing promised before we have a right to expect 
to receive, or before we can rationally believe that we shall 
receive it. Thus the promises are all made upon a condition 
that renders them all a mere nullity in the estimation of this 
objection. 

This objection was once stated to me by a celebrated min- 
ister of New England as applicable to the prayer of faith. 
It has probably occurred to many minds and deserves a mo- 
ments attention. In further remarking upon it I would say, 

(3.) That the objection is based upon a misapprehension 
of the condition of the promises. The objection assumes that 
the promises are conditioned not upon confidence in the vera- 
city of God, but upon our believing that he will give to us the 
thing which he has promised. But he has promised this bless- 
ing upon condition that we believe that he will give it to us, 
of which we have no promise, until after we have believed 
that we shall receive it. The objection assumes that God's 
veracity is not pledged to grant the thing promised in any 
case until we have believed that we shall have the thing 
promised, and so we must believe that God will do what his 
veracity is not pledged to do and what we have no evidence 
that he will do until we truly believe that he will. But we 
have no right to claim the thing promised until we have be- 
lieved that we shall have it, for it is promised only upon this 
condition. Thus we have no foundation for faith. God's ve- 
racity is not pledged to give the blessing until after we have 
believed without evidence that he will give it to us. So that 
we are shut up to believe that he will give it to us before his 
veracity is pledged to do so. We must first believe without a 
promise as a condition of having a promise or any rational 
ground of confidence that we shall receive the thing promis- 
ed. This view of the subject would render the gospel and 
ks promises a ridiculous tantalizing of the hopes and solici- 
32* 



378 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

tudes of the people of God. This objection supposes that we 
have no evidence upon which to rest but the promises, and 
the promise affords no evidence that we shall receive the 
thing promised until we believe that we shall receive it, for 
upon this condition the promise is made. I say again that 
the objection misapprehends the condition of the promises. 
The fact is, the promises are all made upon condition that we 
believe in or trust in the veracity of God. Of this we have 
other evidence than that contained in the promises. We can 
trust in the promise of no being any further than we have 
confidence in his veracity. We can have ground for confi- 
dence in his promises no further than we have ground for con- 
fidence in his veracity. Now if we had no ground for confi- 
dence in the veracity of God except what we have in the 
promises themselves, and were they conditioned upon our be- 
lief of them, they must all be to us a mere nullity. But the 
truth is, we have infinitely good reason for confidence in the 
veracity of God and consequently for believing his promises 
and of expecting them to be fulfilled to us. We have in the 
intuitive affirmations of our own reason, in the revelations 
which God has made of himself in his works and word and 
by his Holy Spirit, the highest evidence of the veracity of God. 
When we confide in his veracity, we can not but confide in 
his promises so far as we understand them. Confidence in the 
veracity of God is both the condition of the promises and a 
condition of confiding in them and of expecting to receive 
the things pledged in them. Confidence in God's universal 
truthfulness and faithfulness is a condition of our expecting 
to receive the fulfillment of his promises. We could not ra- 
tionally expect to receive the things promised, had we no rea- 
son for confiding in the universal truthfulness of God. Hence 
the Holy Spirit is given to inspire confidence in the veracity 
of God and thus enable us to lay hold upon and appropriate 
the promises to ourselves. Now if, as the objection we are 
considering assumes, the promises were made only upon con- 
dition that we believe that we shall receive the thing prom- 
ised, that is, if the thing is promised only upon condition that 
we first believe that we receive it, then surely the promises 
were vain; for this would suspend the fulfillment of the prom- 
ise upon an impossible condition. But if the promises are 
conditioned upon our confiding in the veracity of God, then 
they are made to a certain class of persons, and as soon as 
we are conscious of exercising this confidence in him, we can 
not but expect him to fulfill all his promises. Thus a confi- 



SA.NCTIFICATION. 379 

dence in his veracity at once fulfills the conditions of the 
promises and renders the expectation that we shall receive 
the things promised rational and necessary. 

We may appropriate the promises and expect their fulfill- 
ment when we arc conscious of confidence in the veracity of 
God; for upon this condition they were made, and upon no 
other condition is confidence in their fulfillment to us possi- 
ble. That is, we can not expect God to fulfill his promises 
to us except upon the condition that we confide in his univer- 
sal truthfulness. For this confidence we have the best of all 
reasons, and to secure this confidence the Holy Spirit is giv- 
en. God requires us to expect to receive the things promis- 
ed simply because he has promised to bestow them upon con- 
dition of faith in his veracity, and because faith in his veraci- 
ty implies and includes the expectation of receiving the 
things which we know he has promised, upon condition of 
this faith. If we have good reason for confidence in the 
veracity of God we have good reason for the expectation 
that he will fulfill to us all his promises; for confidence in his 
veracity is the condition of them. Confidence in his veracity 
must imply confidence in his promises so far as they are 
known. 

God requires faith in his promises only because he requires 
faith in his universal veracity, and when he conditionates his 
promises upon our confidence in them it is only because he 
conditionates them upon our confidence in his veracity, and 
because confidence in his veracity implies confidence in his 
promises, and confidence in his promises implies confidence in 
his veracity. When therefore he conditionates his promises 
upon our believing them, and that we shall receive the things 
promised in them, the spirit and meaning of the condition is, 
that we confide in his truthfulness, which confidence is implied 
in the expectation of receiving the things promised. It 
should be distinctly understood then that faith in the prom- 
ses implies faith in the divine veracity, and faith in the divine 
veracity implies faith in all the known promises. In the or- 
der of nature confidence in the divine veracity precedes con- 
fidence in a specific divine promise. But where the latter u, 
there the former must always be. The general condition of 
all the promises is confidence in the character and truthfulness 
of God. This also implies confidence in his promises, and 
hence the expressed condition is faith in the promise, because 
faith in his veracity implies confidence in his promises, and 
confidence in his promises implies confidence in his veracity. 



380 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

But here it may be asked, does not this reasoning prove 
too much, and will it not follow from this that all the promi- 
ses must be and are really due and fulfilled to all true saints, 
for all true saints have true confidence in the veracity of God? 
If faith in the veracity of God is the true condition of all the 
promises, it follows that every true believer has fulfilled the 
conditions of all the promises; then the veracity of God is 
pledged for the fulfillment of all of them to every true be- 
liever. To this I answer, that the promises are made \o be- 
lievers in Christ, or in other words, to all true saints. Their 
being true saints is the condition of their right to appropriate 
them and claim the fulfillment of them to themselves. True 
confidence in God is the condition of the promises in the 
sense not that they will all be fulfilled to us of course upon 
the bare condition that we confide in the general and univer- 
sal veracity of God without either pleading, appropriating, 
or using means to secure the fulfillment of certain specific 
promises to us. But confidence in the veracity of God is 
the condition of our having a right to appropriate the promi- 
ses to ourselves and to expect their fulfillment to ourselves. 
A consciousness that we confide in the veracity of God gives 
us the right to consider every promise as made to us which is 
applicable to our circumstances and wants, and to lay hold 
upon and plead it and expect it to be fulfilled to us. Observe, 
the promises are not merely conditioned upon confidence in 
the veracity of God, but also upon our pleading them with 
entire confidence in the veracity of God and in the fact that 
he will fulfill them to us, and also upon the diligent use of 
means to secure the promised blessing. God says, "I will 
be enquired of by the house of Israel to do these things for 
them." By trusting the veracity of God, we become person- 
ally and individually interested in the promises, and have a 
title to the things promised in such a sense as to have a right 
through grace to claim the fulfillment to us of specific promi- 
ibs upon the further condition of our pleading them with 
faith in the veracity of God and using the necessary means 
to secure their fulfillment to us. Most, not to say all, of the 
promises of specific blessings have several conditions. An im- 
plicit faith or confidence in God as a hearer and answerer of 
prayer, and as a God of universal sincerity and veractiy, as 
true and faithful to all his word, is the general condition of all 
the promises. 

The promises are made to this class of persons. The prom- 
ises of particular things are addressed to this class for their 



SANCTIFICATION. 



381 



individual use and benefit as circumstances shall develop their 
necessities. By the exercise of implicit confidence in God 
they have fulfilled the conditions of the promises in such a 
sense as to entitle them to appropriate any specific promise 
and claim through grace its fulfillment to them as their cir- 
cumstances demand. This laying hold of and appropriating 
the promises of specific blessings and using the means to se- 
cure the thing promised, are also conditions of receiving the 
promised blessing. 

The holy spirit is given to all who have confidence in the 
veracity of God to lead them to a right use and appropriation 
of the specific promises, and when we are drawn to wrestle 
for the fulfillment to us of any particular promise we have the 
best of reason to expect its fulfillment to .us. What christian 
does not know this? And what christian has not had frequent 
examples and instances of this in his own experience? 






LECTURE LXVIII. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

FARTHER OBJECTIONS ANSWERED. 

4. I will next consider those passages of scripture which 
are by some supposed to contradict the doctrine we have 
been considering. - 

1. Kings 8: 46: " IC they sin against thee, (for there is 
no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and 
deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away 
captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near," &c. On 
this passage I remark: 

(1.) That this sentiment in nearly the same language, is 
repeated in 2 Chron. 6: 26, and in Eccl. 7: 20, where the 
same original word in the same form is used, 

(2.) These are the strongest passages I know of in the 
Old Testament, and the same remarks are applicable to the 
three. 

(3.) I will quote, for the satisfaction of the reader, the note 
of Dr. Adam Clarke upon this passage, and also that of Bar- 
clay, the celebrated and highly spiritual author of "An apol- 
ogy for the True Christian Divinity." And let me say, that 
they appear to me to be satisfactory answers to the objection 
founded upon these passages. 

Clarke: " If they sin against thee. — This must refer to 
some general defection from truth; to some species of false 

orship, idolatry, or corruption of the truth and ordinances 
f the Most High; as for it, they are here stated to be deliv- 
ered into the hands of their enemies, and carried away captive, 
which was the general punishment of idolatry; and what is 
called, [verse 47,] acting perversely, and committing wickedness. 

" If they sin against thee, for there is no man that sinneth 
not. The second clause, as it is here translated, renders the 
supposition, in the first clause, entirely nugatory; for, if there 
be no man that sinneth not, it is useless to say, if they sin; but 
this contradiction is taken away by reference to the original 
ki yechetau lak, which should be translated, if they shall sin 



SANCTIFICATION. 383 

against thee; or should they sin against thee, ki ein adam ash- 
er lo yecheta; t For there is no man that may not sin;' that is, 
there is no man impeccable, none infallible; none that is not 
liable to transgress. This is the true meaning of the phrase 
in various parts of the Bible, and so our translators have un- 
derstood the original, for even in the thirty-first verse of this 
chapter, they have translated yecheta, if a man trespass; 
which certainly implies he might or might not do it; and in 
this way they have translated the same word, if a soul sin, 
in Lev. 5: 1, and 6: 2, 1 Sam. 2: 25, 2 Chron. 4: 22, and in 
several other places. The truth is, the Hebrew has no mood 
to express words in the permissive or optative way, but to ex- 
press this sense it uses the future tense of the conjugation kal. 

" This text has been a wonderful strong-hold for all who 
believe that there is no redemption from sin in this life; that 
no man can live without committing sin; and that we can not 
be entirely freed from it till we die: 

"[1.] The text speaks no such doctrine, it only speaks of 
the possibility of every man's sinning; and this must be true 
of a state of probation. 

" [2.] There is not another text in the divine records that 
is more to the purpose than this. 

"[3.] The doctrine is flatly in opposition to the design of 
the gospel; for Jesus came to save his people from their sins, 
and to destroy the works of the devil. 

"[4.] It is a dangerous and destructive doctrine, and should 
be blotted out of every Christian's creed. There are too 
many who are seeking to excuse their crimes by all means in 
their power; and we need not embody their excuses in a 
creed, to complete their deception, by stating that their sins 
are unavoidable." 

Barclay: u Secondly — Another objection is from two pas- 
sages of scripture, much of one signification. The one is 1 
Kings 8: 46: i<f For there is no man that sinneth not." ThqM 
other is Eccl. 7: 20: For there is not a just man upon earth^ 
that doeth good and sinneth not. 

M I answer, 

"[1.] These affirm nothing of a daily and continual sinning, 
so as never to be redeemed from it; but only that all have 
sinned, that there is none that doth not sin, though not al- 
ways so as never to cease to sin; and in this lies the question. 
Yea, in (hat place of the Kings he speaks within two verses 
of the returningof such with all their souls and hearts; which 
implies a possibility of leaving off sin. 



38 i SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

"[2.] There is a respect to be had to the seasons and dis- 
pensations; for if it should be granted that in Solomon's time 
there were none that sinned not, it will not follow that there 
are none such now, or that it is a thing not now attainable 
by the grace of God under the gospel. 

"[3.] And lastly, this whole objection hangs upon a false 
interpretation; for the original Hebrew word may be read in 
the Potential mood, thus, There is no man who may not sin; 
as well as in the indicative, so both the old Latin, Junius, 
and Tremellius, and Vatablus have it, and the same word is 
so used, Psalm 119: 11: " Thy word have I hid in my heart 
that I might not sin against thee — in the Potential Mood, and 
not in the Indicative; which being more answerable to the 
universal scope of the scriptures, the testimony of the truth, 
and the sense of almost all interpreters, doubtless ought to 
be so understood, and the other interpretation rejected as 
spurious." 

(4.) Whatever may be thought of the views of these au- 
thors, to me it is a plain and satisfactory answer to the objec- 
tion founded upon these passages, that the objection might be 
strictly true under the Old Testament dispensation, and prove 
nothing in regard to the attainability of a state of entire sancti- 
fication under the new. What! docs the New Testament dis- 
pensation differ nothing from the Old in its advantages for 
the acquisition of holiness? If it be true that no one under 
the compnratively dark dispensation of Judaism, attained a 
state of permanent sanctirication, does that prove such a state 
is not attainable under the Gospel? It is expressly stated in the 
Epistle to the Hebrews, that u the Old Covenant made no- 
thing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did." Un- 
der the Old Covenant, God expressly promised that He would 
make a new one with the house of Israel, in " writing the 
^3lW in their hearts," and in, engraving it in their inward 
^■arts." And this New Covenant was to be made with the 
^ouse of Israel, under the christian dispensation. What 
then do all such passages in the Old Testament prove in re- 
lation to the privileges and holiness of Christians under the 
New dispensation? 

(5.) Whether any of the Old Testament saints did so far 
receive the New Covenant by way of anticipation, as to en- 
ter upon a state of permanent sanctification, it is not my 
present purpose to inquire. Nor will I inquire, whether, ad- 
mitting that Solomon said in his day, that " there was not a 
just man upon the earth that liveth and sinneth not," the 



SA.NCTIFICATION. 



385 



same could with equal truth have been asserted of every 
generation under the Jewish dispensation? 

(6.) It is expressly asserted of Abraham and multitudes 
of the Old Testament saints, that they "died in faith, not 
having received the promises." Now what can this mean? 
It cannot be that they did not know the promises, for to 
them the promises were made. It cannot mean that they 
did not receive Christ, for the Bible expressly asserts that 
they did — that "Abraham rejoiced io see Christ's day" — that 
Moses, and indeed all the Old Testament saints, had so much 
knowledge of Christ as a Savior to be revealed, as to bring 
them into a state of salvation. But still they did not receive 
the promise of the Spirit as it is poured out under the Chris- 
tian dispensation. This was the great thing all along prom- 
ised, first to Abraham, or to his seed, which is; Christ: Gal. 
3: 14, 16: " That the blessing of Abraham might come on 
the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive 
the promise of the Spirit through faith." " Now to Abra- 
ham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, 
And to seeds, as of many: but as one, and to thy seed, which 
is Christ;" and afterwards to the Christian church, by all 
the prophets. Acts 2: 16 — 21: "But this is that which 
was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass 
in the last days, (saith God,) I will pour out of my Spirit 
upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall proph- 
esy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men 
shall dream dreams; and on my servants, and on my hand- 
maidens, 1 will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and 
they shall prophesy; and I will shew wonders in heaven 
above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and 
vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and 
the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the 
Lord come; and it shall come to pass that whosoever shall 
call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2: 38^i 
39: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptize^ 
every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remis- 
sion of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all 
that are afar ofF, even as many as the Lord our God shall 
call." Acts 3: 24,26: "Yea, and all the prophets from 
Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, 
have likewise foretold of these days." " Unto you first, God 
having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in 
turning away every one of you from his iniquities;" and 
33 



386 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

lastly by Christ himself, which he expressly styles the -promise 
of the Father. Acts 1: 4, 5: "And being assembled togeth- 
er with them, commanded them that they should not depart 
from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, 
which saith he ye have heard of me. For John truly bap- 
tized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Ho- 
ly Ghost not many days hence." They did not receive 
the light and the glory of the Christian dispensation, nor the 
fullness of the Holy Spirit. And it is asserted in the Bible, 
that " they without us," that is, without our privileges, "could 
not be made perfect." 

5. The next objection is founded upon the Lord's Prayer. 
In this, Christ has taught us to pray, " Forgive us our tres- 
passes as we forgive those who trespass against us." Here 
it is objected that if a person should become entirely sancti- 
fied, he could no longer use this clause of this prayer, which 
it is said, was manifestly designed to be used by the Church 
to the end of time. Upon this prayer I remark: 

(1.) Christ has taught us to pray for entire, in the sense 
of perpetual sanctification. "Thy will be done on earth as it 
is done in heaven." 

(2.) He designed that we should expect this prayer to be an- 
swered, or that we should mock him by asking what we do 
not believe is agreeable to his will, and that too which we 
know could not consistently be granted; and that we are to 
repeat this insult to God as often as we pray. 

(3.) The petition for forgiveness of our trespasses, it is plain, 
must apply to past sins, and not to sins we are committing 
at the time we make the prayer; for it would be absurd and 
abominable to pray for the forgiveness of a sin which we are 
then in the act of committing. 

(4.) This prayer cannot properly be made in respect to any 
sin of which we have not repented; for it would be highly 

•bominable in the sight of God, to pray for the forgiveness 
f a sin of which we did not repent. 
(5.) If there be any hour or day in which a man has com- 
mitted no actual sin, he could not consistently make this pray- 
er in reference to that hour or that day. 

(6.) But at the very time, it would be highly proper for 
him to make this prayer in relation, all his past sins, and that 
too although he may have repented of, and confessed them, 
and prayed for their forgiveness, a thousand times before. 
This does not imply a doubt whether God has forgiven the sins 
of which we have repented; but it is only a renewal of our 



SANCTIFICA.TION. 387 

grief and humiliation for our sins, and a fresh acknowledg- 
ment of, and casting ourselves upon his mercy. God may 
forgive when we repent before we ask him, and while we ab- 
hor ourselves so much as to have no heart to ask for forgive- 
ness, but his having forgiven us does not render the petition 
improper. 

(7.) And although his sins may be forgiven, he ought still 
to confess them — to repent of them both in this world and in 
the world to come. And it is perfectly suitable, so long as 
he lives in the world, to say the least, to continue to repent 
and repeat the request for forgiveness. For myself I am una- 
ble to see why this passage should be made a stumbling 
block; for if it beimproper to pray for the forgiveness of past 
sins of which we have repented, then it is improper to pray 
for forgiveness at all. And if this prayer cannot be used 
with propriety in reference to past sins of which we have 
already repented, it cannot properly be used at all, except 
upon the absurd supposition, that we are to pray for the for- 
giveness of sins which we are now committing, and of which 
we have not repented. And if it be improper to use this 
form of prayer in reference to all past sins of which we have 
repented, it is just as improper to use it in reference to sins 
committed to-day or yesterday, of which we have repented. 

6. Another objection is founded on James 3: 1,2: "My 
brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive 
the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend 
all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect 
man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 1 ' Upon this 
passage I remark: 

(1.) The term rendered masters here, may be rendered 
teachers, critics, or censors, and be understood either in a 
good or bad sense. The Apostle exhorts the brethren not 
to be many masters, because if they arc so, they will incur 
the greater condemnation; "for," says he, "in many things^ 
we offend all." The fact that we all offend is here urged a I 
a reason why we should not be many masters; which shows 
that the term masters is here used in a bad sense. " Be not 
many masters," for if we are masters, " we shall receive the 
greater condemnation," because we are all great offenders. 
Now I understand this to be the simple meaning of this pas- 
sage; do not many [or any] of you become censors, or critics 
and set yourselves up to judge and condemn others. For in 
as much as you have all sinned yourselves, and we are all 
great offenders, we shall receive the greater condemnation, if 



388 



SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 



we set ourselves up as censors. "For with what judgment 
ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, 
it shall be measured to you again." 

(2.) It does not appear to me that the Apostle designs to 
affirm any thing at all of the present character of himself or 
of those to whom he wrote; nor to have had the remotest al- 
lusion to the doctrine of entire sanctification, but simply to 
affirm a well established truth in its application to a particu- 
lar sin; that if they became censors, and injuriously condemn- 
ed others, inasmuch as they had all committed many sins, they 
should receive the greater condemnation. 

(3.) That the Apostle did not design to deny the doctrine 
of Christian perfection or entire sanctification, as maintained 
in these lectures, seems evident from the fact that he imme- 
diately subjoins, " If any man offend not in word, the same 
is a perfect man and able also to bridle the whole body." 

7. Another objection is founded upon 1st John 1: 8: If 
we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth i9 
not in us." Upon this I remark: 

(1.) Those who make this passage an objection to the doc- 
trine of entire sanctification in this life assume that the Apos- 
tle is here speaking of sanctification instead of justification: 
whereas an honest examination of the passage, if I mistake 
not, will renderit evident that the Apostle makes no allusion 
here to sanctification, but is speaking solely of justification. 
A little attention to the connection in which this verse stands, 
will, I think, render this evident. But before I proceed to 
state what I understand to be the meaning of this passage, 
let us consider it in the connection in which it stands, in the 
sense in which they understand it who quote it for the pur- 
pose of opposing the sentiment advocated in these lectures. 

They understand the Apostle as affirming that if we say 

«e are in a state of entire sanctification and do not sin, we 
;ceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Now if this were 
The Apostle's meaning, he involves himself in this connection 
in two flat contradictions. 

(2.) This verse is immediately preceded by the assertion 
that the " blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." 
Now it would be very remarkable, if immediately after 
this assertion, the Apostle should mean to say, (as they sup- 
pose he did,) that it does not cleanse us from all sin, and if we 
say it does, we deceive ourselves; for he had just asserted 
that the blood of Jesus Christ does cleanse us from all sin. If 



SANCTIFICATION. 389 

this were his meaning it involves him in as palpable a contra- 
diction as could be expressed. 

(3.) This view of the subject then represents the Apostle 
in the conclusion of the seventh verse, as saying, the blood 
of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin; and in the 
eighth verse, as saying, that if we suppose ourselves to be 
cleansed from all sin, we deceive ourselves, thus flatly contra- 
dicting what he had just said. And in the ninth verse he 
goes on to say that " He is faithful and just to forgive us our 
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness;" that is, the 
blood of Jesus cleanseth us from all sin; but if we say it 
does, we deceive ourselves. M But if we confess our sins he is 
faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from 
all unrighteousness." Now, all unrighteousness is sin. If 
we are cleansed from all unrighteousness, we are cleansed 
from sin. And now suppose a man should confess his sin, and 
God should in faithfulness and justice forgive his sin and 
cleanse him from all unrighteousness, and then he should con- 
fess and profess that God had done this; are we to understand 
that the Apostle would then affirm that he deceives himself 
in supposing that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from 
all sin? 

But as I have already said, I do not understand the Apos- 
tle as affirming any thing in respect to the present moral 
character of any one, but as speaking of the doctrine of jus- 
tification. 

This then appears to me to be the meaning of the whole 
passage. If we say that we are not sinners, that is, have no 
sin to need the blood of Christ; that we have never sinned, 
and consequently need no Savior, we deceive ourselves. For 
we have sinned, and nothing but the blood of Christ clean- 
seth from sin, or procures our pardon and justification. And 
now, if we will not deny but confess that we have sinned, 
14 He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse^ 
us from all unrighteousness." u But if we say we have noip 
sinned, we make Him a liar, and his word is not in us." 

6. It has been objected to the view I have given of Jer. 31: 
31 — 34, that if that passage is to be considered as a promise 
of entire sanctification, it proves too much. Inasmuch as 
it is said, "• they shall all know the Lord from the least to the 
greatest;" therefore, says the objector, it would prove that all 
the Church has been in a state of entire sanctification ever 
since the commencement of the New Testament dispensation. 
To this objection I answer: 
33* 



390 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

(1.) I have already, I trust, shown that this promise is con- 
ditioned upon faith, and that the blessing cannot possibly be 
received but by faith. 

(2.) It is doubtless true that many may have received this 
covenant in its fulness. 

(3.) A promise may be unconditional or absolute, and cer- 
tain of a fulfillment in relation to the whole Church as a body 
in some period of its history, which is nevertheless condi- 
tional in relation to its application to any particular individu- 
als or generation of individuals. 

(4.) I think it is in entire keeping with the prophecies to 
understand this passage as expressly promising to the Church 
a day, when all her members shall be sanctified, and t4 Holi- 
ness to the Lord shall be written upon the bells of the hor- 
ses." Indeed it appears to be abundantly foretold that the 
Church as a body shall, in this world, enter into a state of en- 
tire sanctification, in some period of her history; and that 
this will be the carrying out of the promises of the New Cov- 
enant, of which we are speaking. But it is by no means an 
objection to this view of the subject, that all the church have 
not yet entered into this state. 

It has been maintained, that this promise in Jeremiah has 
been fulfilled already. This has been argued, 

[1.] From the fact that the promise has no condition, ex- 
pressed or implied, and the responsibility therefore rests with 
God. 

[2.] That the Apostle in his epistle to the Hebrews, quotes 
it as to be fulfilled at the advent of Christ. Now to this I 
answer: 

It might as well be argued that all the rest of the promises 
and prophecies relating to the gospel day were fulfilled, be- 
cause the time had come when the promise is due. Suppose it 
were denied that the world would ever be converted, or that 

•here ever would be any more piety in the world than there 
las been and is at present; and when the promises and pro- 
phecies respecting the latter day glory, and the conversion of 
the world, should be adduced in proof that the world is to be 
converted, it should be replied that these promises had alrea- 
dy been fulfilled — that they were unconditional — and that the 
advent of the Messiah, was the time when they became due. 
But suppose, that in answer to this, it should be urged that 
nothing has ever yet occurred in the history of this world that 
seems at all to have come up to the meaning of these promi- 
ses and prophecies — that the world has never been in the 



SANCTiriCATION. 391 

state which seems to be plainly described in these promises 
and prophecies — and that it cannot be that any thing the 
world has yet experienced is what is meant by such language 
as is used in the Bible in relation to the future state of the 
world. Now suppose to this it should be replied, that the 
event has shown what the promises and prophecies really 
meant — that we are to interpret the language by the fact — 
that as the promises and prophecies were unconditional, and 
the gospel day has really come when they were to be fulfilled, 
we certainly know, whatever their language may be, that 
they meant nothing more than what the world has already re- 
alized? This would be precisely like the reasoning of some 
persons in relation to Jer. 31: 31 — 34. They say, 

a. The promises are without condition. 

b. The time has come for their fulfillment. Therefore 
the world has realized their fulfillment, and all that was in- 
tended by them; that the facts in the case settle the ques- 
tion of construction and interpretation; and we know that 
they never intended to promise a state of entire sanctifica- 
tion, became as a matter of fact no such state has been reali- 
zed by the Church. Indeed! Then the Bible is the most 
hyperbolical, not to say ridiculous book in the universe. If 
what the world has seen in regard to the extension and uni- 
versal prevalence of the Redeemers kingdom, is all that the 
promises relating to these events really mean, then the Bi- 
ble of all books in the world is the most calculated to de- 
ceive mankind. But who, after all, in the exercise of his 
sober senses, will admit any such reasoning as this? Who 
does not know, or may not know, if he will use his common 
sense, that although these promises and prophecies are un- 
conditionally expressed, yet that they are as a matter of fact 
really conditioned upon a right exercise of human agency, 
and that a time is to come when the world shall be convert- 
ed; and that the conversion of the world implies in itself ^ 
vastly higher state of religious action in the Church, than 
has for centuries, or perhaps ever been witnessed — and that 
the promise of the New Covenant is still to be fulfilled in a 
higher sense than it ever has been? If any man doubts this, 
I must believe that he does not understand his bible. 

Faith, then, is an indispensable condition of the fulfill- 
ment of all promises of spiritual blessings, the reception of 
which involves the exercise of our own agency. 

Again, it is not a little curious, that those who give this 
interpretation to these promises imagine that they see a very 



392 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

close connection, if not an absolute identity of our views 
with those of modern Antinomian Perfectionists. Now it is 
of importance to remark, that this is one of the leading pe- 
culiarities of that sect. They [the Antinomian Perfection- 
ists] insist that these are promises without condition, and that 
consequently their own watchfulness, prayers, exertions, and 
the right exercise of their own agency, are not at all to be 
taken into the account, in the matter of their perseverance 
in holiness — that the responsibility is thrown entirely upon 
Christ, inasmuch as his promises are without condition. The 
thing he has promised, say they, is, that without any condi- 
tion,- he will keep them in a state of entire sanctification — 
that therefore, for them to confess sin, is to accuse Christ of 
breaking his promises. For them to make any efforts at 
perseverance in holiness is to set aside the gospel and go 
back to the law. For them even to fear that they shall sin, 
is to fear that Christ will tell a lie. 

These sayings are not found in their Confession of Faith, 
but they are held at least by many of them as every one 
knows who is at all familiar with their views. 

The fact is that this, and their setting aside the moral law, 
are the two great errors of their whole system. It would be 
easy to show that the adoption of this sentiment — that these 
promises are without condition, expressed or implied — has led 
to some of their most fanatical and absurd opinions and prac- 
tices. They take the ground that no condition is expressed, 
and that therefore none is implied; overlooking the fact, that 
the very nature of the thing promised, implies that faith is 
the condition upon which its fulfillment must depend. It is 
hoped therefore, that our brethren who charge us with per- 
fectionism, will be led to see that to themselves, and not to 
us, does this charge belong. 

These are the principal passages that occur to my mind, 
and those I believe upon which the principal stress has been 
laid by the opposers of this doctrine. And as I do not wish 
to protract the discussion, I shall omit the examination of 
other passages. 

There are many objections to the doctrine of entire sancti- 
fication, besides those derived from the passages of scripture 
which I have considered. Some of these objections are 
doubtless honestly felt, and deserve to be considered. I will 
then proceed to notice such of them as now occur to my mind. 

9. It is objected that the doctrine of entire and permanent 
sanctification in this life, tends to the errors of modern per- 



SANCTIFICATIOX. 393 

fectionism. This objection has been urged by some good 
men, and, I doubt not honestly urged. But still I cannot be- 
lieve that they have duly considered the matter. It seems 
to me that one fact will set aside this objection. It is well 
known that the Wesleyan Methodists have, as a denomina- 
tion, from the earliest period of their history, maintained this 
doctrine in all its length and breadth. Now if such is the 
tendency of the doctrine, it is passing strange that this ten- 
dency has never developed itself in that denomination. So 
far as I can learn, the Methodists have been in a great meas- 
ure, if not entirely, exempt from the errors held by modern 
perfectionists. Perfectionists, as a body, and I believe with 
very few exceptions, have arisen out of those denominations 
that deny the doctrine of entire sari ctifi cation in this life. 

Now the reason of this is obvious to my mind. When 
professors of religion, who have been all their life subject to 
bondage, begin to inquire earnestly for deliverance from their 
sins, they have found neither sympathy nor instruction in re- 
gard to the prospect of getting rid of them in this life. Then 
they have gone to the Bible, and there found, in almost every 
part of it, Christ presented as a Savior from their sins. But 
when they proclaim this truth, they are at once treated as 
heretics and fanatics by their brethren, until, being overcome 
of evil, they fall into censoriousness; and finding the Church 
so decidedly and utterly wrong, in her opposition to this one 
great important truth, they lose confidence in their ministers 
and the church, and, being influenced by a wrong spirit, Sa- 
tan takes the advantage of them, and drives them to the ex- 
treme of error and delusion. This I believe to be the true 
history of many of the most pious members of the Calvinis- 
tic churches. On the contrary, the Methodists are very 
much secured against these errors. They are taught that 
Jesus Christ is a Savior from all sin in this world. And 
when they inquire for deliverance, they are pointed to Jesus 
Christ as a present and all-sufficient Redeemer. Finding 
sympathy and instruction, on this great and agonizing point, 
their confidence in their ministers and their brethren remains, 
and they walk quietly with them. 

It seems to me impossible that the tendency of this doc- 
trine should be to the peculiar errors of the modern perfection- 
ists, and yet not an instance occur among all the Methodist 
ministers, or the thousands of their members, for one hundred 
years. 



394 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

And here let me say, it is my full conviction, that there are 
but two ways in which ministers of the present day can pre- 
vent members of their churches from becoming perfectionists. 
One is. to suffer them to live so far from God, that they will 
not inquire after holiness of heart; and the other is, most 
fully to inculcate the glorious doctrine of entire consecration, 
and that it is the high privilege as well as the duty of Chris- 
tians, to live in a state of entire consecration to God. 

I have many additional things to say upon the tendency of 
this doctrine, but at present this must suffice. 

By some it is said to be identical with Pefectionism; and 
attempts are made to show in what particulars Antinomian 
Perfectionism and our views are the same. On this I re- 
mark: 

(I.) It seems to have been a favorite policy of certain con- 
troversial writers for a long time, instead of meeting a propo- 
sition in the open field of fair and Christian argument, to 
give it a bad name, and attempt to put it down, not by force 
of argument, but by showing that it is identical with or sus- 
tains a near relation to Pelagianism, Antinomianism, Cal- 
vinism, or some Other ism, against which certain classes of 
minds are deeply prejudiced. In the recent controversy be- 
tween what are called Old and New School Divines, who has 
not witnessed with pain the frequent attempts that have been 
made to put down the New School Divinity, as it is called, by 
calling it Pelagianism, and quoting certain passages from Pe- 
lagius, and other writers, to show the identity of sentiment 
that exists between them. 

This is a very unsatisfactory method of attacking or de- 
fending any doctrine. There are, no doubt, many points of 
agreement between Pelagius and all truly orthodox divines, 
and so there are many points of disagreement between them. 
There are also many points of agreement between modern 
Perfectionists and all Evangelical Christians, and so there 
are many points of disagreement between them and the 
Christian Church in general. That there are some points 
of agreement between their views and my own, is no doubt 
true. And that we totally disagree in regard to those points 
that constitute their great peculiarities, is, if I understand 
them, also true. 

But did I really agree in all points with Augustine or Ed- 
wards, or Pelagius, or the modern Perfectionists, neither the 
good nor the ill name of any of these would prove my senti- 
ments to be either right or wrong. It would remain after all, 



SANCTIFICATION. 



395 



to show that those with whom I agreed were either right or 
wrong, in order, on the one hand, to establish that for which 
I contend, or on the other to overthrow that which I maintain. 
It is often more convenient to give a doctrine or an argument 
a bad name, than it is soberly and satisfactorily to reply to it. 

(2.) It is not a little curious that we should be charged with 
holding the same sentiments with the Perfectionists; while 
yet they seem to be more violently opposed to our views, 
since they have come to understand them, than almost any 
other persons whatever. I have been informed by one of 
their leaders, that he regards me as one of the master-builders 
of Babylon. And I also understand that they manifest great- 
er hostility to the Oberlin Evangelist than almost any other 
class of persons. 

(3.) I will not take time, nor is it needful, to go into an in- 
vestigation or a denial even of the supposed or alledged 
points of agreement between us and the Perfectionists. But 
for the present it must be sufficient to request you to read and 
examine for yourselves. You have, at the commencement of 
these lectures upon this subject, their confession of faith 
drawn up with care, by their leader in compliance with par- 
ticular request; let a comparison of that with what is here 
taught settle the question of our agreement or disagreement 
with that sect. 

With respect to the modern Perfectionists, those who have 
been acquainted with their writings, know that some of them 
have gone much farther from the truth than others. Some 
of their leading men, who commenced with them and adopted 
their name, stopped far short of adopting some of their most 
abominable errors; still maintaining the authority and per- 
petual obligation of the moral law; and thus have been saved 
from going into many of the most objectionable and destruc- 
tive notions of the sect. There are many more points of 
agreement between that class of Perfectionists and the ortho- 
dox church, than between the church and any other class of 
them. And there are still a number of important points of 
difference, as every one knows who is possessed of correct 
information upon this subject. 

I abhor the practice of denouncing whole classes of men 
for the errors of some of that name. I am well aware that 
there are many of those who are termed Perfectionists, who 
as truly abhor the extremes of error into which many of that 
name have fallen, as perhaps do any persons living. 



396 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

10. Another objection is, that persons could not live in this 
world, if they were entirely sanctified. Strange! Does ho- 
liness injure a man? Does perfect conformity to all the laws 
of life and health, both physical and moral, render it impossi- 
ble for a man to live? If a man break off from rebellion 
against God, will it kill him? Does there appear to have been 
any thing in Christ's holiness inconsistent with life and health? 
The fact is, that this objection is founded in a gross mistake 
in regard to what constitutes entire sanctification. It is sup- 
posed by those who hold this objection, that this state implies 
a continual and most intense degree of excitement, and many 
things which are not at all implied in it. I have thought, that 
it is rather a glorified than a sanctified state, that most men 
have before their minds whenever they consider this subject. 
When Christ was upon earth, he was in a sanctified but not 
in a glorified state. u It is enough for the disciple that he be 
as his Master." Now what is there in the moral character of 
Jesus Christ as represented in his history, that may not and 
ought not to be fully copied into the life of every christian? I 
speak not of his knowledge, but of his spirit and temper. 
Ponder well every circumstance of his life that has come down 
to us, and say, beloVed, what is there in it that may not, by 
the grace of God, be copied into your own? and think you, 
that a full imitation of him in all that relates to his moral 
character would render it impossible for you to live in the 
world? 

11. Again it is objected that should we become entirely in 
the sense of permanently sanctified, we could not know it 
and should not be able intelligently to profess it. 

Answer. All that a sanctified soul needs to know or pro- 
fess is that the grace of God in Christ Jesus is sufficient for 
him, so that he finds it to be true as Paul did that he can do 
all things through Christ who strengthened him, and that he 
does not expect to sin, but that on the contrary, he is enabled 
through grace u to reckon himself dead indeed unto sin, and 
alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord/' A saint may 
not know that he shall never sin again; he may expect to sin 
no more because of his confidence, not in his own resolutions 
or strength or attainments, but simply in the infinite grace 
and faithfulness of Christ. He may come to look upon, to 
regard, account, reckon himself as being dead indeed and in 
fact unto sin, and as having done with it, and as being alive 
unto God, and to expect henceforth to live wholly to God as 
much as he expects to live at all; and it may be true that he 



SANCTIFICATION. 397 

will thus live without his being- able to say that he knows 
that he is entirely in the sense of permanently sanctified. 
This he need not know, but this he may believe upon the 
strength of such promises as 1 Thess. 5: 23, 24: u And the 
very God of peace sanctify you wholly: and I pray God 
your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless 
unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that 
callcth you, who also will do it." It is also true that a chris- 
tian may attain a state in which he will really fall no more 
into sin as a matter of fact, while at the same time he may 
not be able to express even a thorough persuasion that he 
shall never fall again. All he may be able intelligently to 
say is, " God knoweth, I hope to sin no more, but the event 
will show. May the Lord keep me; I trust that he will." 

12. Another objection is, that the doctrine tends to spirit- 
ual pride. And is it true indeed that to become perfectly 
humble tends to pride? But entire humility is implied in en- 
tire sanctification. Is it true that you must remain in sin, and 
of course cherish pride in order to avoid pride? Is your hu- 
mility more safe in your own hands, and are you more secure 
against spiritual pride in refusing to receive Christ as your 
helper, than you would be in at once embracing him as a full 
Savior? 

I have seen several remarks in the papers of late, and have 
heard several suggestions from various quarters, which have 
but increased the fear which I have for some time entertain- 
ed, that multitudes of Christians and indeed many ministers 
have radically defective views of salvation by faith in Jesus 
Christ. To the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life, 
as believed and taught by some of us, it has been frequently 
of late objected, that prayers offered in accordance with this 
belief, and by a sanctified soul, would savor strongly of spir- 
itual pride and self-righteousness. I have seen this objection 
stated in its full force of late, in a religious periodical, in the 
form of a supposed prayer of a sanctified soul — the object 
of which was manifestly to expose the shocking absurdity, self- 
righteousness, and spiritual pride, of a prayer, or rather 
thanksgiving, made in accordance with a belief that one is 
entirely sanctified. Now I must confess, that that prayer, 
together with objections and remarks which suggest the same 
idea, have created in my mind no small degree of alarm. I 
not a little fear, that many of our divines, in contending for 
the doctrines of grace, have entirely lost sight of the mean- 
ing of the language they use, and have in reality but very 
34 



398 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

little practical understanding of what is intended by salvation 
by grace, in opposition to salvation by works. If this is not 
the case, I know not how to account for their feeling and sta- 
ting such an objection as this to the doctrine of entire sancti- 
tication. 

Now, if I understand the doctrine of salvation by grace, 
both sanctification and justification are wrought by the grace 
of God, and not by any works or merits of our own, irrespec- 
tive of the grace of Christ through faith. If this is the 
real doctrine of the Bible, what earthly objection can there 
be to our confessing, professing, and thanking God for our 
sanctification, any more than for our justification. It is true, 
indeed, that in our justification our own agency is not con- 
cerned, while in our sanctification it is. Yet I understand the 
doctrine of the Bible, to be, that both are brought about by 
grace through faith, and that we should no sooner be sancti- 
fied without the grace of Christ than we should be justified 
without it. Now who pretends to deny this? And yet, if it 
is true, of what weight is that class of objections to which I 
have alluded? These objections manifestly turn upon the idea, 
no doubt latent and deep seated in the mind, that the real ho- 
liness of Christians, in whatever degree it exists, is in some 
way to be ascribed to some goodness originating in themselves, 
and not in the grace of Christ. But do let me ask, how is it 
possible that men who entertain, really and practically, right 
views upon this subject, can by any possibility feel as if it 
must be proof conclusive of self-righteousness and Pharisaism 
to profess and thank God for sanctification? Is it not under- 
stood on all hands, that sanctification is by grace; and that 
the gospel has made abundant provision for the sanctification 
of all men? This certainly is admitted by those who have sta- 
ted this objection. Now if this is so, which is the most hon- 
orable to God, to confess and complain of our sins' triumph- 
ing and having dominion over us, or to be able truly and hon- 
estly to thank Him for having given us the victory over our 
sins. God has said, '-Sin shall not have dominion over you, 
for ye are not under the law, but under grace." 

Now, in view of this and multitudes of kindred promises, 
suppose we come to God and say, u O Lord, thou hast made 
these great and precious promises, but as a matter of fact 
they do not accord with our own experience. For sin does 
continually have dominion over us. Thy grace is not suffi- 
cient for us. We are continually overcome by temptation, 
notwithstanding thy promise that in every temptation thou 



SANCTIFICATION. 399 

wilt make a way for us to escape. Thou hast said, the truth 
shall make us free, but we are not free. We are still the 
slaves of our appetites and lusts.' 1 

Now which, I inquire, is the most honorable to God, to go 
on with a string of confessions and self-accusations, that are 
in flat contradiction to the promises of God, and almost, to 
say the least, a burlesque upon the grace of the gospel, or to 
be able, through grace, to confess that we have found it true 
in our own experience, that his grace is sufficient for us — that 
as our day is so our strength is, and that sin does not have 
dominion over us, because we are not under the law but under 
grace? 

To this I know it will be answered that in this confessing of 
our sins we do not impeach the grace or faithfulness of God 
inasmuch as all these promises are conditioned upon faith, 
and consequently that the reason of our remaining in sin is to 
be ascribed to our unbelief, and is therefore no disparage- 
ment to the grace of Christ. But I beg that it may be duly 
considered that faith itself is of the operation of God — is it- 
self produced by grace; and therefore the fact of our being 
obliged to confess our unbelief is a dishonor to the grace of 
Christ. Is it honorable or dishonorable to God that we 
should be able to confess that even our unbelief is overcome, 
and that we are able to testify from our own experience that 
the grace of the gospel, is sufficient for our present sal- 
vation and sanctification? There is no doubt a vast amount 
of self-righteousness in the church, which, while it talks 
of grace, really means nothing by it. For a man to go 
any farther than to hope that he is converted, seems to 
many minds to savor of self-righteousness. Now why is 
this, unless they themselves entertain self-righteous notions in 
regard to conversion? Many persons would feel shocked to hear 
a man in prayer unqualifiedly thank God that he had been 
converted and justified. And they might just as well feel 
shocked at this, and upon precisely the same principle, as to 
feel shocked if he should unqualifiedly thank God that he 
had been sanctified by his grace. 

But again, I say, that the very fact that a man feels shock- 
ed to hear a converted or a sanctified soul unqualifiedly thank 
God for the grace received, shows that down deep in his 
heart lies concealed a self-righteous view of the way of sal- 
vation, and that in his mind all holiness in Christians is a 
ground of boasting; and that if persons have become truly 
and fully sanctified they really have a ground of boasting be- 



400 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

fore God. I know not how else to account for this wonder- 
ful prejudice. For my own part I do not conceive it to be 
the least evidence of self-righteousness when I hear a man 
sincerely and heartily thank God for converting and justify- 
ing him by his grace. Nor should I feel either shocked, hor- 
rified, or disgusted, to hear a man thank God that he had 
sanctified him wholly by his grace; if in either or both cases I 
had the corroborative evidence of an apparently holy life; I 
should bless God, take courage, and feel like calling on all 
around to glorify God for such an instance of his glorious 
and excellent grace. 

The feeling seems to be very general that such a prayer 
or thanksgiving is similar in fact and in the principle upon 
which it rests with that of the Pharisee noticed by our Savior. 
But what reason is there for this assumption? We are ex- 
pressly informed that that was the prayer of a Pharisee. But 
the Pharisees were self-righteous and expressly and openly 
rejected the grace of Christ. 

The Pharisee then boasted of his own righteousness ori- 
ginating in and consummated by his own goodness and not 
in the grace of Christ. Hence he did not thank God that 
the grace of Christ had made nim unlike other men. Now this 
prayer was designed to teach us the abominable folly of any 
man's putting in a claim to righteousness and true holiness 
irrespective of the grace of God by Jesus Christ. But cer- 
tainly this is an infinitely different thing from the thanksgiv- 
ing of a soul who fully recognizes the grace of Christ, and 
attributes his sanctification entirely to that grace. And I 
cannot see how a man can suppose these two prayers to be 
analogous in their principle and spirit, who has entirely dives- 
ted himself of Pharisaical notions in respect to the doctrine 
of sanctification. 



LECTURE LXIX. 
SANCTIFICATION. 

FARTHER OBJECTIONS ANSWERED. 

13. Again it is objected that many who have embraced this 
doctrine, really are spiritually proud. To this I answer: 

(1.) So have many who believed the doctrine of regenera- 
tion been deceived and amazingly puffed up with the idea 
that they have been regenerated when they have not been. 
But is this a good reason for abandoning the doctrine of re- 
generation, or any reason why the doctrine should not be 
preached? 

(2.) Let me inquire, whether a simple declaration of what 
God has done for their souls, has not been assumed as of it- 
self sufficient evidence of spiritual pride on the part of those 
who embrace this doctrine, while there was in reality no spir- 
itual pride at all? It seems next to impossible, with the pre- 
sent views of the Church, that an individual should really at- 
tain this state, and profess to live without known sin in a man- 
ner so humble as not of course to be suspected of enormous 
spiritual pride. This consideration has been a snare to some 
who have hesitated and even neglected to declare what God 
had done for their souls, lest they should be accused of spirit- 
ual pride. And this has been a serious injury to their piety. 

14. But again it is objected that this doctrine tends to cen- 
soriousness. To this I reply: 

(1.) It is not denied that some who have professed to be- 
lieve this doctrine have become censorious. But this no 
more condemns this doctrine than it condemns that of regen- 
eration. And that it tends to censoriousness, might just as 
well be urged against every acknowledged doctrine of the 
Bible as against this doctrine. 

(2.) Let any Christian do his whole duty to the Church and 
the world in their present state — let him speak to them and 
of them as they really are, and he would of course incur the 
charge of censoriousness. It is therefore the most unreason- 
able thing in the world, to suppose that the church, in its pre- 
34* 



402 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

sent state, would not accuse any perfect christian of censo- 
riousness. Entire sanctification implies the doing of all our 
duty. But to do all our duty, we must rebuke sin in high 
places and in low places. Can this be done with all needed 
severity, without in many cases giving offence and incurring 
the charge of censoriousness? No; it is impossible, and to 
maintain the contrary, would be to impeach the wisdom and 
holiness of Jesus Christ himself. 

15. It is objected that the believers in this doctrine lower 
the standard of holiness to a level with their own experience. 

To this I reply that it has been common to set up a false 
standard, and to overlook the true spirit and meaning of the 
law, and to represent it as requiring something else than 
what it does require: but this notion is not confined to those 
who believe in this doctrine. The moral law requires one 
and the same thing of all moral agents, namely, that they 
shall be universally and disinterestedly benevolent; in other 
words, that they shall love the Lord their God with all their 
heart, and their neighbor as themselves. This is all that it 
does require of any. Whoever has understood the law as 
requiring less or more than this, has misunderstood it. Love 
is the fulfilling of the law. But I must refer the reader to 
what I have said upon this subject when treating of Moral 
Government. 

The law, as we have seen on a former occasion, levels its 
< laims to us as we are, and a just exposition of it, as I have 
already said, must take into consideration all the present cir- 
cumstances of our being. This is indispensable to a right 
apprehension of what constitutes entire sanctification. 

There may be, as facts show, danger of misapprehension 
in regard to the true spirit and meaning of the law in the 
sense that by theorizing and adopting a false philosophy, one 
may lose sight of the deepest affirmations of his reason in 
regard to the true spirit and meaning of the law; and I would 
humbly inquire whether the error has not been in giving such 
an interpretation of the law, as naturally to beget the idea so 
prevalent, that if a man should become holy he could not 
live in this world? In a letter lately received from a beloved, 
and useful, and venerated minister of the gospel, while the 
writer expressed the greatest attachment to the doctrine of 
entire consecration to God, and said that he preached the 
same doctrine which we hold to his people every Sabbath, 
but by another name, still he added that it was revolting to 
his feelings to hear any mere man set up the claim of obedi- 



SANCTIFICATION. 403 

ence to the law of God. Now let me inquire, why should 
this be revolting to the feelings of piety? Must it not be 
because the law of God is supposed to require something of 
human beings in our state, which it does not and cannot re- 
quire? Why should such a claim be thought extravagant, 
unless the claims of the living God be thought extravagant? 
If the law of God really requires no more of men than what 
is reasonable and possible, why should it be revolting to any 
mind to hear an individual profess to have attained to entire 
obedience? I know that the brother to whom I allude, would 
be almost the last man deliberately and knowingly to give 
any strained interpretation to the law of God; and yet^ I 
cannot but feel that much of the difficulty that good men 
have upon this subject, has arisen out of a comparison of the 
lives of saints with a standard entirely above that which the 
law of God does or can demand of persons in all respect's in 
our circumstances, or indeed of any moral agent whatever. 

16. Another objection is, that as a matter of fact the grace 
of God is not sufficient to secure the entire sanctification of 
saints in this life. It is maintained, that the question of the 
attainability of entire sanctification in this life, resolves it- 
self after all into the question, whether christians are 
sanctified in this life? The objectors say that nothing 
is sufficient grace that does not as a matter of fact, se- 
cure the faith and obedience and perfection of the saints; 
and, therefore, that the provisions of the gospel are in fact 
to be measured by the results; and that the experience of 
the church decides both the meaning of the promises and the 
extent of the provisions of grace. Now to this I answer: 

If this objection be good for any thing in regard to entire 
sanctification, it is equally true in regard to the spiritual state 
of every person in the world. If the fact that men are not 
perfect, proves that no provision is made for their per- 
fection, their being no better than they are proves that 
there is no provision for their being any better than they 
are, or that they might not have aimed at being any better, 
with any rational hope of success. But who, except a 
fatalist, will admit any such conclusion as this? And 
yet I do not see but this conclusion is inevitable from such 
premises. As well might an impenitent sinner urge that the 
grace of the gospel is not, as a matter fact, sufficient for him 
because it does not convert him; as well might he resolve 
every thing into the sovereignty of God, and say, The sove- 
reignty of God must convert me, or I shall not be converted; 
and since I am not converted, it is because the grace of God 



101 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. 

has not proved itself sufficient to convert me. But who will 
excuse the sinner, and admit his plea that the grace and pro- 
visions of the gospel are not sufficient lor him? 

Let ministers urge upon hoth saints and sinners the claims 
of God. Let them insist that sinners may. and can, and 
ought immediately to become christians, and that christians 
can. and m;iv. and ought to live wholly to God. Let them 
urge christians to live without sin. and hold out the same ur- 
gency of command and the same encouragement that the 
New School hold out to sinners: and we shall soon rind that 
christians arc entering into the liberty of perfect love as sin- 
ners have found pardon and acceptance. Let ministers hold 
forth the same gospel to all, and insist that the grace of the 
gospel is as sufficient to save from all sin as from a part of it: 
and we